Image: Arrive Alive

AARTO and its demerit points system for drivers is coming as the government barrels along despite the many (and huge) objections by individuals and organisations – now buoyed by the recent court finding the AARTO legislation is constitutional.

Companies, company drivers and individuals need to study all the regulations and ramifications of this system or risk falling foul of them and being barred from driving.

Recently, the Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga had the following to say: “On July 12, 2023, the Constitutional Court in handing down judgment on the constitutionality of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, confirmed that indeed the law was constitutional, and no aspect of it encroached on the executive powers of other spheres of government.  The ruling affirms our long-held view that this a necessary law to advance our efforts in arresting the carnage on our roads.

“We welcome this judgement as it provides clarity on the mandate of the national government to determine and enforce norms and standards that apply uniformly across the country.  A fragmented system of adjudicating road traffic offences based on the whims of individual Provinces would undoubtedly result in chaos and render road traffic law enforcement interventions ineffective.

“The AARTO Act is an important cog in our road traffic law enforcement interventions aimed at arresting carnage on our roads and altering driver behaviour.  This will reinforce other interventions such as classifying traffic policing as a 24-hour, 7-day job, regulating driving schools, and introducing an NQF level 6 training for traffic law enforcement officers.  

“The implementation of this law across the country has been pending for 25 years, with pilots in place in the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane.  With this judgement having cleared the path for the implementation of AARTO, we will move with speed to roll out its implementation across the country without delay. 

We have had the occasion to engage with the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) in order to assess our state of readiness for the accelerated rollout of AARTO across all municipalities in the country. We are pleased that the progress we made on the eve of the constitutional challenge enables us to target July 1, 2024 for the nationwide rollout of AARTO.  We have already established 43 service outlets across various Provinces. 

“We have completed the requisite processes to implement the AARTO adjudication process as well as the electronic service of infringements.  The latter will come into effect as soon as the President proclaims the AARTO Amendment Act.  

“We are also ready to finalise our recommendations to the President for the appointment of the Tribunal and the proclamation of the AARTO Act nationwide implementation, as well as the promulgation of the AARTO Amendment Act. 

“We are pleased that this judgement not only removes the uncertainty that was created by this legal challenge but enables us to focus on ensuring that our roads are safe for all road users with penalties that will make a telling difference. The unacceptably high rate of fatalities on our roads is driven by many factors, with driver behaviour being one of the most serious. We have no doubt that the AARTO Act will make a difference by introducing severe penalties which include attaching movable properties of infringers, putting an end to a culture of impunity.

“As we proceed with the national rollout of AARTO, we will proclaim implementation in 69 municipalities by the end of this calendar year, while AARTO will kick-in in the remaining municipalities by July 1, 2024.  We are working closely with the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in ensuring that all municipalities have the requisite capacity to implement the law.”

While the authorities talk a good game in terms of AARTO, the mere fact it is an administrative process rather than judicial means the process to challenge an alleged infringement is long, complex, arduous and expensive – and very open to corruption, misuse and graft.

Do yourself and you family a favour – understand the regulations and their ramifications.

Image: Arrive Alive

Colin Windell - proudly CHANGECARS