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AARTO to deal with irresponsible motorists and repeat offenders

by Nthambeleni Gabara
on 03 Jul 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Irresponsible motorists and repeat offenders, beware! A new pilot project is to ensure that the long arm of the law will be used to curb bad driving habits.

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Thursday through the Administration Adjudication of Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act

drivers who disobey traffic laws will receive infringement notices within five days via registered mail.

They will have an opportunity to reduce the amount payable by 50 percent if they make their payments within 32 days of receipt.

However, payments made outside the time frame will be paid in full amounts and will also accrue administrative costs.

After a series of notices and enforcement orders, if the payment due remains outstanding, the Sheriff of the Court would have the right to seize and sell moveable property to defray costs.

According to the minister, the AARTO Act will be implemented as a pilot project in Tshwane, to be followed by Johannesburg shortly before being rolled out nationally.

The Point's Demerit System which is part of the Act, will be introduced in the national roll out in early 2009.

Under the system, if a driver commits a traffic offence, a pre-determined number of points allocated to the offence will be awarded against the driver's license.

After 12 points are exceeded, there will be an automatic driving ban for a period in months equal to three times the number of points by which the 12 is exceeded.

If a driver reaches 14 points, the driver will be banned from driving for six months. Points can be reduced at a rate of one point per three-month period, providing no further demerit points are incurred during that period.

Should a driver be disqualified for a third time, then his license will be permanently revoked and must re-apply for a learner's license and begin the process from scratch.

However, this will only occur after the expiry of the disqualification period.

Mr Radebe said the estimated cost of the impact of deaths and injuries sustained as a result of road accidents is now R43 billion.

He emphasised the need to inculcate responsible behaviour so that people can take seriously the duties imposed on them when they set out to enjoy the use and benefits of the road network.

Minister Radebe said the implementation of the Act gives credence to the fact that road safety is key to responsible management of road transport operations.

"Two of the most important catalysts in effecting an improvement in driver behaviour and law compliance are well planned, efficient and effective law enforcement coupled with and supported by an equally effective, expeditious and just road traffic adjudication system," he said.

According to him, the current adjudication process, which results in many traffic notices not being considered by the courts and left un-concluded, de-motivates law enforcement officers across the board.

He said the launching of AARTO is a proof of a radical improvement in transport management that will leave a lasting legacy in road safety.

Chief executive officer of Road Traffic Management Corporation, Ranthoko Rakgoale said: "By changing the mindset of drivers, we hope to effect a significant reduction in the number of traffic crashes and fatalities on our roads." - BuaNews


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