JPSA's comments on the draft AARTO Regulations, 2011.
Government Gazette 34208 has reference.
16 May 2011
On 15 April 2011, the Minister of Transport published Government Gazette 34208 calling for comments on the draft Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Regulations, 2011 which are intended to replace the previous regulations to be submitted to the Director General of the Department of Transport.
This gazette comprised 219 pages which almost constitutes a complete re-draft of the AARTO Regulations and changes quite a bit with respect to how AARTO will affect various parties. The original document is available from the South African Government information website based here.
Some of the contents of this voluminous publication include the following proposed changes:
- The previously applicable Regulations are to be replaced by these Regulations.
- A number of new charges have been added to Schedule 3 of the Regulations.
- Infringements, Major Infringements and Offences have now been defined.
- New "AARTO approved" documents informing those who commit offences that a summons is to be issued have been authored.
- A traffic officer may use a form called an AARTO 32 to warn an accused that a summons will be issued as opposed to arresting the alleged offender where this is deemed to be unnecessary.
- Fines have been increased by R40 each with no explanation thereto, however it would appear that this is intended to be a "collection fee" of some form.
- Fines issued to juristic persons, cross-border transportation permit holders, foreign driving licence holders, learner drivers and people who have no licence have all been included in the triple penalty category, with no demerit-points being applicable to them.
- The requirement of service of AARTO 03 infringement notices via registered mail has not been changed and personal service has been significantly defined. In the case of AARTO 03 infringement notices, this does not include personal service at the roadside (in roadblocks).
JPSA has today (16 May 2011) sent a 50 page document setting out its comments on the draft regulations and should you wish to download this document in PDF format, you may do so by clicking here.
Amongst the comments that we have made are:
- The observation that we have not been listened to at all, in that speeding on a freeway is considered to be a criminal offence, whilst ignoring a red "robot" is still subject only to a fine of R500 and 1 demerit-point.
- No schedule exists instructing law enforcement officials when arrest is required and when an AARTO 32 may be issued instead.
- Schedule 2, which deals with the Rands penalty amount and the fees that are prescribed has been omitted entirely from the publication.
- Comments with respect to personal service, wherein it seems that aside from the accepted provisions of personal service, it has been suggested that it will be okay for a process server to simply "attach the document to a door" at the premises in question.
- Our strong objection to the entire issue of fines being tripled, but more especially the fact that AARTO seems to target legitimate driving licence holders whilst only imposing fines on those who do not have a driving licence at all!
- Our observation that juristic persons are still not compelled to nominate the driver in control of a vehicle, but may instead choose to pay triple penalty amounts and avoid the demerit points being applied to the licences of their drivers.
- Our observation of several inaccuracies, spelling and grammatical errors in this draft, wherein the meaning of sentences get changed entirely and/or incorrect or non-existent regulations get quoted.
- The fact that AARTO remains a strictly punitive piece of legislation and makes no effort or attempt to establish education programmes that could rehabilitate offenders instead of simply punishing them.
- Recommendations for a number of improvements which we believe will make AARTO work for everyone and assist it in attaining greater road safety.
We trust that our and recommendations comments will be taken seriously.