Government prepares to implement AARTO Act

Friday, July 21, 2023

Motorists can expect the full implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act - which seeks to reduce the high rate of fatalities on the roads and improve driver behavior - on 1 July 2024 nationwide.

Addressing a media briefing on Thursday in Johannesburg, Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga said 43 service outlets across various provinces have already been established.

“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 1 July 2024. 

“We are working closely with the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in ensuring that all municipalities have the requisite capacity to implement the law,” the Minister said.

Chikunga welcomed the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the AARTO Act as it 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 Minister said.

She said the AARO Act will reinforce other interventions such as classifying traffic policing as a 24-hour, 7-day job, alongside the regulation of driving schools and introduction of an National Qualifications Framework (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 accelerated rollout of AARTO across all municipalities in the country. 

“We have completed 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,” the Minister said.

The Department of Transport is ready to finalise its recommendations to the President for the appointment of a tribunal and the proclamation of implementation of the AARTO Act nationwide, as well as the promulgation of the AARTO Amendment Act. 

“We have also completed the process of drafting regulations and have consulted with the Minister of Justice and all MECs. 

“We are finalising the matter of concurrence by MECs and have received concurrence from the vast majority of provinces. This is a matter we intend to put to bed at the upcoming meeting of the Shareholders Committee, made up of MECs responsible for Transport and traffic matters.

“We will equally move with speed with the implementation of the point’s demerit system, an important cornerstone of the AARTO Act, intended to act as a deterrent for wayward motorist behaviour on our roads,” the Minister said.

Chikunga said 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. –