Welcome to AARTO facts
The definitive reference for the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act.
Everything you need to know about AARTO - in one place.
"JPSA puts the AARTO puzzle and so much more together for you"
It has taken three and a half years since JPSA lodged its complaint against the JMPD with the Public Protector but the report thereon was finally released on 18 December 2014. The JMPD's greed and lies have finally caught up with them after Justice Project South Africa lodged a complaint with the Public Protector on 15 June 2011 - following numerous engagements with the JMPD, the RTIA, the RTMC and the Department of Transport which all failed to yield any results.
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has been found to have engaged in improper conduct and maladministration by the the Public Protector of South Africa. In her full report entitled "A Matter of Interpretation", the JMPD is cited as having violated the provisions of the AARTO Act which compel all issuing authorities to serve AARTO 03 infringement notices by registered mail.
The decision to lodge a complaint with the Public Protector was not taken lightly. If you would like to understand why JPSA lodged this complaint with the Public Protector - click here.
For our summary of the Public Protector's report, click here.
Before we start...
Please understand that this site is run by Justice Project South Africa, which is an NGO and is not in any way associated with or funded by the authorities involved in the implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act.
We provide this site in the interests of educating the public about the real effects that AARTO will have on you. It is NOT the "official AARTO website" which is run by the RTMC. You are more than welcome to visit that site, but we do point out that it provides less candid information than you will find on our site.
Don't shoot the messenger...
We realise that if you are visiting this site, you have probably become frustrated by endless attempts on your part to get answers to your questions on AARTO through the channels provided by the authorities. You can take solace in the fact that you are not alone in your frustration. We will assist you as far as we can, but we do ask that you remain civil and don't take your frustrations out on us.
Below, you will find a quick reference to the most likely questions you may be seeking to have answered. We have however provided way more than this, which you can access by spending some time navigating this site.
What is AARTO?
AARTO is an acronym for the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act. It is not an entity and it is only in force in the operational areas of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD). Elsewhere in South Africa, the Criminal Procedure Act applies.
The distinct difference AARTO has from the Criminal Procedure Act is that AARTO is an administrative process, whilst the Criminal Procedure Act is exactly what it's name denotes, a criminal procedure. Therefore under AARTO no warrants of arrest will ever result from an infringement notice. So the next time the JMPD pulls you over in a roadblock, tell them to get lost if they say they will arrest you if you don't pay, but you should also not adopt the attitude of "I'll wait for a summons before doing anything about my fine".
If you wait for a summons for an AARTO infringement notice it will never arrive, because it is not part of the AARTO process. We urge you to become familiar with AARTO and its processes so you don't find yourself in more hot water than is absolutely necessary. Read all about AARTO in layman's terms in our full tutorial.
What is an AARTO infringement notice?
South Africa currently has two pieces of legislation in place which deal with the practical application of traffic fines. One is the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, which is in force in the operational areas of the Johannesburg and Tshwane Metropolitan Police Departments ONLY. The other is the Criminal Procedure Act, which applies everywhere else in South Africa.
An AARTO infringement notice differs considerably from a notice issued under the Criminal Procedure Act and has unique characteristics and legislative processes. To understand what an AARTO infringement notice is and how it differs entirely from a normal traffic fine you may have become used to, please read the full explanation of AARTO infringement notices here.
Simply put however an AARTO infringement notice is a traffic fine which says that it is an AARTO infringement notice across the very top of the infringement notice. If it doesn't say that it's an AARTO infringement notice, then it's not one.
AARTO 33 notice of intention to issue summons
Whilst the AARTO Act decriminalises most traffic offences, there are certain serious offences which are so serious that you will have to appear in court on criminal charges. These matters are very serious indeed and you must be aware of the fact that no admission of guilt fine is allowed. You must also be aware of the fact that being convicted of one of these offences carries with it a permanent criminal record and, in many cases, a mandatory suspension of your driving licence. Read more about this here.
Ascertaining whether infringement notices and/or offences exist against you
The official AARTO website used to provide a facility for you to query whether you have infringement notices (fines) and/or pending criminal charges under your particulars on this page at the aarto.gov.za website. You will not find any of the JMPD's infringement notices that begin with 02-4024 on that site. PayCity also offers this facility, however you are warned that they also list all of the illegal infringement notices starting with 02-4024 that were issued by the JMPD from 1 June 2010 to 21 December 2012.
Please do not contact JPSA if you want to ascertain whether you have outstanding fines.
We are often asked where people can pay AARTO infringement notices because legal infringement notices do not bear the banking particulars of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA). There is a reason for this and that reason is not to inconvenience you, but to try to guard against incorrect references being used, which inevitably cause your money to go into an unallocated state which doesn't finalise your matter.
Please visit our paying AARTO infringement notices page for all of the information you will need.
As inconceivable as it may sound, the implementation of AARTO under the so-called "pilot" has been fraught with abuses and misinterpretations by, in particular, the JMPD.
Amongst these abuses have been those by:
In particular, the JMPD:
- Refused to serve infringement notices by registered mail from 1 June 2010 to around December 2012 when the Act is abundantly clear that ALL AARTO INFRINGEMENT NOTICES SENT BY MAIL MUST BE SENT BY REGISTERED MAIL.
- Tripled the penalty values on infringement notices sent to holders of foreign driving licenses where the AARTO Act makes no provision for this.
- Adjudicated over infringement notices it issued from 1 November 2008 through November 2012.
- Sets up daily roadblocks where people are threatened with arrest unless they pay their AARTO infringement notices - whether legally issued and served or not. Arrest for an outstanding AARTO infringement notice is NOT catered for under the AARTO Act or the Criminal Procedure Act.
It is important to note that the TMPD has not engaged in a single illegal practice that the JMPD has. To read more about the multiple illegal practices that have contributed to AARTO losing almost all credibility in the eyes of the public and many government institutions, please click here.
About this site
Justice Project South Africa registered the domain aarto.co.za in July 2009, when it became available for registration. Since then, we have been hosting this site and using it to educate members of the public about both, the good and the bad about AARTO. All of the information on this site is completely truthful. Had any of the information contained on this site have been proven to be untruthful, we are more than certain that we would have been prosecuted and/or sued by the relevant authorities.
We provide the information on this website free of charge to all persons in the interests of truthful and transparent dissemination of information. JPSA does however offer professional services and training to members of the public who need assistance with AARTO and these services can be found here.