Minister Joe Maswanganyi welcomes passing of AARTO Amendment Bill

6 Sep 2017

Minister Maswanganyi welcomes the National Assembly passing of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill

The Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi, welcomes the passing of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill (AARTO Amendment Bill) by the National Assembly on the 5th September 2017.

The tabling of this Bill is a direct result of the untenable and unsustainable road safety challenge in South Africa.

The Bill guarantees South Africa’s implementation of the National Road Safety Strategy and the achievement of the targets as set out in United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.

 “South Africa has been experiencing tremendous loss of lives, especially of young people, as well as the continued disregard of road traffic laws,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

In 2014, there were 10,364 crashes that caused 12,702 fatalities, in 2015, there were 10,613 crashes that caused 12,994 fatalities; and in 2016, there were 11,676 crashes that caused 14,071 fatalities.

“So as a country, we need to act with resolve and turnaround this unfortunate situation.  We must act with conviction and take responsibility for our situation,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

The AARTO Act which was promulgated in 1998 seeks to achieve the following:

  • to promote road traffic quality by providing for a scheme to discourage road traffic contraventions,
  • to facilitate the adjudication of road traffic infringements,
  • to support the prosecution of offences in terms of the national and provincial laws relating to road traffic,
  • to implement a points demerit system;  and
  • to provide for the establishment of an agency to administer the scheme.

Minister Maswanganyi indicated to members of the National Assembly that when implementing the Bill, the demerit points system will also be implemented.

“The demerit point system will provide for an easy and objective mechanism of identifying habitual infringers so that the applicable penalties can be imposed”.

“Those that continue to break the laws will find themselves ultimately losing their driving licences through suspensions and cancellations of their drivers licenses.  We must remember that a driving licence always belongs to the government and everyone that wants to exercise this benefit, must comply with the conditions related there,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

Minister Maswanganyi emphasised that AARTO does not only provide for a punitive measure but it also it also provides for rehabilitation of drivers that might have lost their driving licences. Drivers can redeem themselves through the rehabilitation programmes.  In this way, we can influence those drivers to change their behaviour to easy compliance with road traffic laws,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

Minister Maswanganyi said that the Amendment Bill also makes dealing with infringements very easy and quick and that it will be done through the Appeals Tribunal.

The Tribunal will eliminate the backlog and burden of dealing with infringements through the courts. This will eliminate the burden and bottle-necks from the Criminal justice system.

“The Act makes provision for the electronic service of documents, which will make it easier for all road users to be informed of the status of their infringers.  The electronic service of documents will further have low cost benefits to the State and the road user, said Minister Maswanganyi.

The Minister further said that the Act will provide the assurance to all South Africans that their lives matter and that it is about increasing road safety.

Ishmael Mnisi
Cell: 072 566 0827