Government published a new Gazette, Number 42648 on 19 August 2019 as Act Number 4 of 2019 titled “Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Act, 2019” more commonly known as the AARTO Act.

The purpose of the published Amended Act is:

To amend the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, 1998, so as to substitute and insert certain definitions; to improve the manner of serving documents to infringers; to add to the functions of the Road Traffic Infringement Authority; to repeal certain obsolete provisions; to establish and administer rehabilitation programmes; to provide for the apportionment of penalties; to provide for the establishment of the Appeals Tribunal (our emphasis) and matters related thereto to effect textual corrections; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

AARTO Act consequences for transgressions are:

  1. Blocking of the renewal of a driving license.
  2. Blocking of the renewal or application for a PrDP or renewal or a motor vehicle licence as well as demerit points.

Drivers face losing their licences for repeated offences. Infringements and the collection of fines will be managed by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA).

For drivers, every infringement will accumulate demerit points, with a total of 12 resulting in the suspension of their licence for a period of several months.
Once the suspension period lapses, drivers can apply to get their licences back. On the third suspension, the licence will be revoked, with the driver required to retake the learner’s and driver’s tests after the suspension lapses.

Paying a fine will not offer any reprieve from the demerit system.

The AARTO Amendment Bill is quite clear that company representatives cannot lose points on behalf of company drivers, demerits will accrue to the correct person. Every company must have a responsible person who is ultimately accountable for dealing with licensing, roadworthiness and traffic fine issues.

Additional information is available here: AARTO Amendment Bill—August 2019, AARTO Charge Book List, and an infographic from the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

This article is provided for information only and does not constitute the provision of professional advice of any kind.