The long-awaited Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences act, 1998 (Act 46 of 1998) or Aarto, is at last to be implemented throughout the country by 1 April 2016.
This was announced by the Chief Operations Officer of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), Thabo Tsholetane during the RTIA’s provincial road show Monday in Polokwane.
He said the final readiness assessment commissioned by the RTIA has been completed and Limpopo is around 90% ready for the implementation of Aarto.
The RTIA’s mission is a fair lawful and reasonable administrative adjudication through the levying of penalties the same everywhere in the country and the imposing of demerit points.
Aarto will effectively bring to an end all non-payments of traffic fines, as not paying your fines will mean that you cannot renew your licence. Should your fine be paid within 32 days under the Aarto system, you will automatically receive a 50% deduction of your fine. Partnerships with insurance companies also will mean that those with less fines will pay less for their insurance. The system will also lessen the burden of courts.
Demerit points will mean that habitual infringers will be penalised through the suspension of their license: After 12 demerit points have been awarded, the licence will be suspended for three to nine months. Should the driver’s licence be suspended a third time, the license will be recalled and the offender will have to attend rehabilitation classes and go through the process of getting a licence again.
There are certain steps to be taken before a driver arrives at the enforcement stage, such as submitting a representation, arranging for instalments, electing to be tried in court, paying the penalty and get a discount or nominating a driver if you were not the driver at the time of the fine being issued.
Should this not be done you will receive a courtesy letter. The full amount is now due, you can still elect to be tried in court or arrange for instalments or submit a representation. After this the enforcement order stage comes into play. If a representation (e.g. that you were not the driver or somebody else used your licence plate) was not successful, the driver will pay R200 more. At the enforcement stage a sheriff may deal with the transgressor and the vehicle’s license may not be renewed.
A criminal record only occurs when an offense has been committed such as driving under the influence of alcohol
Tsholetsane said the Arrive Alive campaign costs more than R100 million each year and bears no fruit, now it was the time to implement Aarto. He said it was seventeen years after the initial Aarto was drafted, and some changes will have to go through Parliament, such as that fines could be issued by SMS and even Facebook instead of only by registered mail.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS