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DOT Gives Update on AARTO Bill

May 3, 2019

Department of Transport

3 May 2019

As soon as the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill is signed into law, the transport department will introduce the Points Demerit System.

The transport minister, Blade Nzimande, confirmed this at the release of the 2019 Preliminary Easter Road Safety Campaign Report in Pretoria.

The minister added that the “system will allow us to identify, rehabilitate and ultimately eliminate habitual offenders found on our road transport network”.

The bill was passed by parliament and sent for assent in March 2019.

It was tabled in December 2015.

The bill is designed to help with implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act of 1998.

The act aims to strengthen compliance with road traffic laws and facilitate the payment of traffic fines.

Offenders will receive demerit points on their licences.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the act has been in operation as a pilot phase in Tshwane and Johannesburg.

The plan is to roll out the legislation across the country.

The bill is intended to ensure that the roll out is “efficient and effective”.

It seeks to introduce amendments to the act in order to achieve efficiency and the financial sustainability of issuing authorities.

The bill also refers to the National Road Traffic Offences Register.

This is where all drivers’ infringements and offences will be recorded.

The proposed legislation also clarifies the process whereby non-compliant offenders are served with a warrant issued by a magistrate’s court.

The portfolio committee on transport introduced amendments to the bill during its deliberation phase including a new definition on electronic service, habitual infringer and infringement.

A new chapter on the Appeals Tribunal was also inserted into the act.

In November 2018, the NCOP introduced amendments to the bill and returned it to the NA for concurrence.

Amendments by the select committee on economic and business development included that, in terms of the Tribunal, it may, on good cause shown, condone the late filing of an appeal or review.

As regards appeals and reviews, the select committee proposed that any person affected by a decision of the Tribunal may apply to a magistrate’s court to review the decision or appeal to a magistrate’s court against the decision of the Tribunal.

The portfolio committee on transport adopted the NCOP’s amendments in February 2019.

In the latest statement, the minister also declared that his department will “intensify work towards collating a database for foreign issued drivers’ licenses and foreign registered vehicles within the boundaries of SA; and strengthening co-operation on road transport within the SADC region”.

Other priorities going forward include continuing to push for the re-classification of serious road traffic offences such as drunken driving to Schedule 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act as part of the quest for a mandatory minimum sentence for drunken, inconsiderate, reckless and negligent driving and the creation of a national database for all traffic offences in order to “facilitate traffic law enforcement generally, and particularly for purposes of the implementation of the points demerit system”.