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Parliament Seeks Further Comment on AARTO Bill

February 24, 2017

Portfolio Committee on Transport

Parliament has called for further comment on the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in December 2015.

It 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.

A new definition for “infringement” is contained in the bill.

“Infringement means any act or omission in contravention of this Act or road traffic legislation”.

The bill also refers to the National 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.

In response to various submissions, the department agreed last year to:

• Amend the definition of authority to allow the minister to prescribe additional issuing authorities if the need arises to do so;
• Include a definition on registered mail to create legal certainty on what constitutes registered mail;
• Amend the date of service to cater for postal service;
• Include a provision to set up and administer rehabilitation programmes; and
• Introduce multiple language usage for fines.

The additional comment period will allow stakeholders to make submissions on proposed amendments to the bill drawn up by the transport committee following hearings on the bill.

The proposed amendments include:

• The inclusion in the proposed definition of “infringement” of “National Land Transport Act, 2009 (Act No. 5 of 2009) and Cross-Border Road Transport Act, 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998)” after “road traffic legislation.”
• The inclusion of a clause that establishes and administers rehabilitation programmes for habitual infringers.
• The inclusion of a Chapter in the principal Act, after Chapter III, that will provide for the establishment of an Appeals Tribunal.
• The inclusion of a new clause on the apportionment of penalties including, but not limited to, considerations on prevention of duplication of penalties or alternative options.

During the hearings, the committee came to the conclusion that it was necessary to amend other principles in the principal act that had not been included in the bill.

Written comment is invited until 10 March 2017.

It can be emailed to vcarelse@parliament.gov.za.