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DOT to Appeal High Court Ruling on AARTO Act

January 19, 2022

Department of Transport

The transport department is to appeal the Pretoria High Court ruling that declared the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act unconstitutional and invalid.

The transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, announced this at the release of the 2021 festive season fatality statistics.

The minister emphasized that the “importance of AARTO in driving behaviour change of motorist and providing disincentives for unbecoming conduct cannot be overemphasized”.

He stressed that the design of the road traffic management system is “premised on the appreciation that while Provincial roads, traffic and parking fall within the ambit of exclusive Provincial legislative competence, maintaining national norms and standards is necessary to ensure effective performance by municipalities of their executive authority”.

The minister added that a “fragmented system that fails to recognise the importance of a system grounded on national norms and standards in order to maximise its effectiveness will only result in chaos and serve as a perverse incentive for unlawful behaviour”.

Other developments highlighted include:

• National Road Traffic Amendment Bill currently before the portfolio committee on transport – to reduce the permissible alcohol limit for motorists;
• Process underway to amend National Road Traffic Regulations in order to regulate Professional Driving Permits both within South Africa, SADC, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and East African Community – to culminate in the standardization as well as harmonization of protocols with member states of the communities;
• Department to continue to improve enforcement policies and strategies and upscale public safety campaigns – finalization of the classification of traffic policing as a 7-day job a top priority and computerized learner’s licence testing to be rolled out;
• Online services at Driving Licence Testing Centres to be launched in February 2022;
• Processes to digitalise driving licence renewal procedures in the pipeline – to include online eye-testing;
• Driving licence simulators to be integrated into testing procedures; and
• 2022 Road Traffic Management Corporation Regulations recently published – introduce online services including booking for learner’s license tests, renewal of drivers licenses, motor vehicle registration and licensing as well as online vehicle licence renewals.