The AARTO legislation
The draft Amendment AARTO Regulations is here. These are the regulations which are open for comment.
The AARTO Regulations of 2008 are here: main part ; and Schedule 1; and Schedule 2 . These are the regulations which are being replaced.
Schedule 3 of the AARTO Regulations of 2008 is here. This schedule is retained in the 2019 draft regulations; it is the only part of the 2008 regulations which is being retained.
The First Amendment to the AARTO Regulations of 2010 is here. This is being repealed by the 2019 draft regulations.
The Second Amendment to the AARTO Regulations of 2013 is here. This is being repealed by the 2019 draft regulations.
The AARTO Act of 1998 is here.
The AARTO Amendment Act of 2019 is here. This has been signed by the President and gazetted, but the date on which it commences has not yet been gazetted. The Ministry of Transport has indicated that this is expected to be June 2020.
Here’s our initial assessment of the draft regulations:
This is a bureaucratic tangle aimed at collecting revenue rather than improving road safety.
This is a technically complicated administrative system which will be difficult for many motorists to navigate.
The proposed regulations are longer and more complicated than the 2008 version.
This is an administrative system and is based on forms. All communication is done using specified forms. The 2008 regulations had 37 AARTO forms plus four National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) forms. The proposed regulations have 51 AARTO forms plus five NRTA forms.
The process for challenging an infringement notice is so complicated we expect most motorists who want to challenge fines will struggle to do this.
We are concerned that those who are fined and would be prepared to comply may find that infringement notices don’t reach them.
There is a new “infringement penalty levy” of R100 charged on every infringement. This is in addition to the fine and there is no discount on it.
Those who can’t afford the fines but make arrangements to pay them off (over a maximum of 10 months) are penalised by losing the discount.
Contesting fines is risky. Those who pay within 28 days get a 50% discount. But those who contest fines, and lose, are penalised by being required to pay the full undiscounted fine plus fees for opposing it.
Motorists pay R60 to R240 to check how many demerit points they have and R60 per report for copies of infringement reports.
Schedule 3 (which is retained from the 2008 regulations) lists 2055 infringements and offences: 1929 infringements and 126 offences. The infringements carry up to five demerits per charge and the offences carry six demerits each.
The demerits system for those running fleets has changed. The previous version added up all the demerits linked to each vehicle in a fleet. Now the fleet operators receive the infringement notice and may send the issuing authority the details of the nominated drivers – but these must be the full details (this form requires 33 pieces of information on the individual) and if the operators can’t provide those, the fine and demerits automatically return to the operators.
The SAPS must train its members on AARTO, the regulations and how to fill in the forms (the SAPS must carry this cost). The issuing authorities (provinces and municipalities) must issue the SAPS with AARTO notice books (the issuing authorities pay for this) so police can issue fines. All revenue collected from the fines collected by the SAPS is split 50:50 between the RTIA and the relevant issuing authority. SAPS gets nothing.
The infringement notices issued at the roadside must be completed on electronic equipment. Do the traffic police and SAPS have these? Who pays for them?
The infringements in Schedule 3 include charge codes 3820 and 3820: “Failed to comply with the directions conveyed by a road traffic sign by using a toll road without paying the toll charge.” For vehicles which do not require a roadworthy certificate (think of bicycles and donkey carts) the discounted fine is R125 with no demerits, for vehicles which do require an RWC the discounted fine is R250 plus one demerit. We’ve raised this issue before as a concern that it will be used against e-toll defaulters but it’s still in the schedule.