|Posted by Patricia on November 13, 2016 at 10:05 AM|
Councillors from the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane told Parliament that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) system was failing and asked that they be “released” from it until the system works properly.
A member of the City of Johannesburg’s Mayoral Committee and a Councillor from the City of Tswhane were among delegates on Friday who briefed the Parliamentary committee on transport on the pilot phase of Aarto, which was introduced in these two metros in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
The system, which entails that motorists receive demerits for traffic violations, was supposed to be implemented from 1 April this year.
Although the pilot phase in Johannesburg and Tswhane has been implemented some time ago, the demerit system will only be implemented once the system has been rolled out nationally.
The administrators of the Aarto system has argued that the implementation thereof would make the roads safer and deal effectively with traffic infringements.
Drivers will accumulate points for the infringements they commit. A motorist starts with 0 points, and the maximum number of points allowed is 12. In other words, a motorist is allowed to drive until he or she has 12 points.
However, every point that exceeds the permissible 12 points will result in a three-month suspension of their driver’s licence. A motorist’s driver’s licence will be revoked when it has been suspended for the third time.
The Aarto system rollout has been delayed among other things because of problems with the delivery of infringement notices.
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The delegation from the Johannesburg and Tswhane told MPs on Friday that there had been miscommunication between the issuing authority of infringement notices, the South African Post Office (Sapo) and the Road Traffic Infringement Authority (RTIA), with the end result that traffic fines were not paid.
Sun, in his capacity as councillor for the City of Johannesburg, said the piloting of Aarto was supposed to be “easy” on the administration and motorists, but instead it has created “unpleasantness” among different departments within the City’s administration.
“Aarto is not having any effect,” Sun continued. “The possibility that motorists could lose their licences had an effect at first, but as time went by people argued that there were no consequences and there’s now a state of lawlessness in our City.
“I urge members (of Parliament) to assist us. Can we be decommissioned from this pilot project?”
Tshwane’s Councilor Kissoonduth agreed, saying the metro has a similar story to that of Johannesburg. He added that the delivery of infringement notices posed difficulties and called for legislation to be amended so that notices can be issued electronically.
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An Aarto Amendment Bill is currently serving before Parliament that, if approved, would allow transport authorities to send infringement notices through SMS. Questions however have been raised about the practicality of SMS as a means of communications, as infringement notices are longer than the allowed number of characters allowed in an SMS.
Kissonduth cautioned that there should be proper buy-in from the public before Aarto can be rolled out nationally. “You can’t push through a bill – it’s not going to have the desired effect.”