The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill is an amendment to the current AARTO Act 46 of 1998. The Amendment Bill was passed by the National Assembly (NA) on 5 September 2017. This Amendment Bill is now before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for final approval before it can be signed into law.
OUTA believes that the Bill in its current form will not withstand scrutiny and that there are many sections in the Bill that are unconstitutional, not practicable and unworkable. The main purpose of the Bill is to improve road safety yet, as it stands the Bill appears to be geared towards generating revenue.
WHY IS OUTA INVOLVED?
- To make sure that there is unchallengeable legislation that will promote road safety;
- That there are less fatalities on our roads and that motorists change their behaviour and attitude on the roads;
- Accidents and fatalities on our roads place an extra burden on the taxpayer. If there are less accidents, there will be less RAF claims and there will be less medical services required at state health institutions.
WHAT IS OUTA DOING ABOUT THIS/OUTA’S SOLUTION?
In November 2017 OUTA submitted written submissions to Parliament regarding the Amendment Bill. The NCOP invited OUTA to Parliament and on 13 February 2018, OUTA made representations to the Select Committee on Economic and Business Development.
Public hearings scheduled by the Provincial Legislatures are currently being held in the nine provinces. Outa has attended Public Hearings in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Free State and will also participate in public hearings in Kwa Zulu Natal and the Northern Cape.
In May this year (2018), OUTA will host a workshop on AARTO where the Road Traffic Infringement Authority (RTIA) and various stakeholders like car rental companies, representatives from the road freight industry and taxi associations will be invited. The purpose of this workshop will be to find solutions on burning issues in the AARTO Bill and the role and functions of the RTIA.
OUTA will in the following months prepare a comprehensive document, based on our submissions to Parliament, the format and experiences of public hearings we attended, the engagement with the RTIA and role players in the transport industry and legal experts’ opinions to be submitted to the NCOP before they make a final decision on the AARTO Bill. If our submissions are ignored by Parliament, OUTA will approach the courts to ensure road safety is prioritised in the Bill.