AARTO

The Western Cape government has asked for your input to influence an important decision. Please use the form below to add your name and comment on the proposed AARTO (Traffic Offences) Amendment Bill.

If you object or support the amendments, please give a reason why. Should you be at a loss for words, read the summary, live input or documents below the form. Feel free to copy and paste into the message area provided. If you don’t take any action, your inaction will be regarded as tacit agreement with the provisions of the AARTO Amendment Bill.  Closing date is 30 March 2018.

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SUMMARY

The AARTO Amendment Bill seeks to amend many of the current provisions of the AARTO Act, in preparation for national implementation – whereafter the long awaited points-demerit system is expected to be introduced.

“This may sound like good news to law-abiding motorists who have grown tired of the lawlessness on our roads, but there are numerous provisions of the currently applicable AARTO Act which, along with the proposed amendments contained in the AARTO Amendment Bill will literally make your hair stand on end,” says JPSA’s chairperson, Howard Dembovsky.

Points to note about the AARTO Amendment Bill

  1. No longer will it be a requirement that an infringement notice must be served in person or by registered mail only. “Electronic service” will be considered to be a valid means of service and includes:
    1. Sending you an email;
    2. Sending you an SMS; and
    3. Sending an infringement notice infringement notice via social media, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.
    4. Such service will be deemed to have taken place 10 days thereafter, whether you read the infringement notice or not.
  2. Your ability to exercise your constitutional right to a fair trial by electing to be tried in court, is to be removed entirely.
    1. If a traffic cop issues an infringement notice to you, you are regarded as being guilty and immediately considered to be a debtor.
    2. If you feel that you are not guilty, you must make a written representation to the Road Traffic Infringement Authority, which the Minister of Transport himself has defined as being a State Owned Enterprise.
    3. If the RTIA makes your representation unsuccessful, R200 is added to the penalty.
    4. If you want to have your matter reviewed, then you must apply to the AARTO Tribunal to review your matter. This must be done within 30 days of the unsuccessful representation and must be accompanied by a fee which the Minister of Transport has the sole discretion to prescribe, without consulting anyone.
    5. If your review at the Tribunal fails, you must approach the High Court for review. This is a very expensive process.
  3. If an issuing authority (traffic department) fails to comply with the provisions of the AARTO Act in serving an infringement notice on you, and as a result, your written representation is successful, it will be allowed to re-issue and serve that infringement notice, provided that this is done within six months of the date of the alleged infringement.
  4. If you fail to exercise any of your so-called “elective options” within the prescribed timeframes, then an enforcement order will be issued. This will happen approximately three months after an infringement notice has been issued. It will block you from acquiring a licence disc, driving licence [card] and where applicable, a professional driving permit, until you pay the penalty and fees applicable to that enforcement order in full. An enforcement order also has the effect of applying the associated demerit points to your driving licence.
  5. If you are the proxy for a juristic entity, demerit points with respect to infringements committed by the people who drive your company’s vehicles will be applied against your driving licence if you fail to nominate the driver within 32 days of the [presumed] service of an infringement notice.
  6. Your driving licence is suspended for three months, for each and every demerit point over the 12 points threshold.
    1. If you incur 15 demerit points, your driving licence will be suspended for nine months.
    2. If your driving licence has been suspended twice, then – and only then – will you be classified as a “habitual offender” and entered into a rehabilitation programme.
    3. If you then build up sufficient demerit points to again put you in line for sanction, your driving licence will be cancelled.
  7. A fine for failing to pay the e-toll applicable to a particular e-toll gantry is R250 per gantry for light motor vehicles and R500 for operator class vehicles.
    1. There are no demerit points applicable to a fine of R250, but there is 1 demerit point applicable to a fine of R500.
    2. If you pass 3 gantries in each direction to and from work each day in a light motor vehicle or motorcycle, you will pass under 30 gantries in a five-day week. Your accumulated fines will therefore total R7,500 which, you will receive a 50% discount on if you pay them within 32 days of the service of an infringement notice. You will not incur any demerit points.
    3. If a truck passes under just 3 gantries in each direction a day, its owner will have to pay R15,000 (also discounted if paid within 30 days), but that driver or proxy will have their driving licence suspended for 54 months at the end of that month, if they pay the infringement notices.
    4. Remember, you will not be allowed to elect to be tried in court.
    5. Also remember that if an enforcement order is issued, you will not be able to renew your vehicle licence disc, driving licence card and/or professional driving permit, and where demerit points are applicable, they will be added to your driving licence when that enforcement order is issued.
  8. The only good news about the AARTO Amendment Bill is that it seeks to repeal the warrant of execution which currently exists in the AARTO Act.
    1. A warrant of execution instructs a Sheriff to come to your home or business and seize goods to the full value of the penalty and all fees, including the Sheriff’s fees.
    2. It also instructs the Sheriff to seize your driving licence and deface your licence disc on your vehicle and to disable your vehicle.
  9. The AARTO Amendment Bill has been passed by the National Assembly in Parliament and is now before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for final approval, before it is signed into law.

AARTO amendment bill

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DOCUMENTS

Download the AARTO Amendment Bill

Download the AARTO Principal Act

Download an information sheet

Public hearings in the Western Cape are scheduled as follows (other provinces have not yet been announced):

DATE TIME VENUE AREA
Thursday
15 February 2018
17:00 Bellville Civic Centre
Voortrekker Road
Bellville
Monday
19 February 2018
17:00 New Hall
Solomon Tshuku Avenue
Site C
Khayelitsha
Tuesday
27 February 2018
17:00 Mossel Bay Town Hall
Marsh Street
Mossel Bay
Wednesday
28 February 2018
17:00 Moffat Hall
Dahlia Street
Mount Pleasant
Hermanus
Thursday
1 March 2018
17:00 Kathy Johnson Multipurpose Centre
Bloekom Avenue
Clanwilliam