Unlawful AARTO 03 Infringement Notices From JMPD & TMPD.
AARTO 03 infringement notices posted by the JMPD from 1 June 2010 to 22 December 2012 were unlawfully issued!
TMPD also did it in October 2010.
Arrogance knows no limits

Ni kidding!

PLEASE NOTE: You are advised to read the entire contents of this page before jumping to any conclusions.

Background

It seems that arrogance knows no limits when it comes to the JMPD and their contractors choosing to do what they wish to do, instead of complying with the law.

In accordance with Section 30(1) of the AARTO Amendment Act 22 of 1999, "any document required to be served on an infringer in terms of this Act, must be served on the infringer personally or sent by registered mail to his or her last known address."

Yet despite this provision being firmly in place and not once having been amended, since 1 June 2010, the JMPD and specifically their contractors (TMT Services) have been sending out AARTO 03 infringement notices by standard permit mail (with no registration whatsoever) to alleged infringers. This practice only came to an end on 22 December 2012, when they were effectively compelled to begin acting lawfully again by the Minister of Transport.

The decision was apparently taken by a senior person in the JMPD and whilst it has been said by that very same person that an amendment to the Act is being sought, the fact of the matter is that no such amendment has been tabled before parliament as yet.

In fact Government Gazette 34208 of 15 April 2011, which called for public comment on the proposed amendments to the AARTO regulations does not diminish the requirement for service via registered mail, but actually further reinforces it.

Prior to 1 June 2010, the JMPD complied with this provision, but then a decision was taken by them to save R15 per postage item in dispatching these infringement notices. The TMPD/RTMC joined in with this practice in around August/September 2010 but this quickly came to an end.

The fact that this provision exists with respect to document service therefore makes the dispatch of these notices via ordinary mail unlawful and deems them as un-served, due to the fact that no date of service can ever be established.

Similarly, the discount period and all other processes in terms of the Act cannot be established and therefore cannot become effective. It is for this reason, amongst others that the JMPD have not proceeded beyond the first process in the AARTO system - that of the issue of an infringement notice. And they cannot do so, even if they wanted to comply with the rest of the processes in the AARTO Act since they do not have the authority to do so and the RTIA is blissfully unaware of the extent of these notices.

What JPSA has done about this

When it became apparent what was happening Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) immediately tried to address this matter in July 2010 by engaging with the JMPD's electronic enforcement department, however after these engagements amounted to nothing more than rhetoric, the matter was escalated to the RTIA (Road Traffic Enforcement Agency) on 16 August 2010.

On 2 September 2010, the RTIA, in a letter dated 1 September 2010 stated, amongst other things the following:

"Do take note that through engagements with the other stakeholders, the Corporation and RTIA has made a
strong recommendation to the Issuing Authority to cancel invalid notices".

The JMPD's reaction to these engagements and recommendations was to blindly ignore them and not only leave these unlawful notices in force, but to continue sending out new infringement notices via standard surface mail.

Despite the fact that the Registrar of the RTIA did indeed eventually write a letter to the then Chief of Police, Chris Ngcobo on January 2011, his instructions were ignored.

We (JPSA) originally intended to take the matter to the High Court and embarked on an exercise to gain a high number of affected parties into a combined action to address the matter. This met with a very slow take up by members of the public who had received these unlawful infringement notices and when we eventually felt that we had sufficient examples of prejudice, we gave instruction to our attorneys to proceed with litigation.

Then, reality bit and it bit hard! We were told that we would have to put up huge amounted of monies for security for costs in order to bring the action to court. Since we never had and probably won't ever have anywhere near the kind of money being alluded to, we had to rethink our strategy.

On 16 June 2011, a formal and detailed complaint was registered with the office of the Public Protector by Justice Project South Africa. Despite several assurances that the matter was receiving the due attention by the office of the Public Protector, as of 22 May 2013, the matter has not been finalised.

In November 2012, a fines management company by the name of "Fines4U" instituted litigation against the JMPD, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, the RTIA, Minister of Transport and Minister of Police in the South Gauteng High Court. This matter is ongoing and should be heard in June 2013.

What has happened to the JMPD?

The JMPD has continued to believe that members of the public are uninformed with respect to how things are supposed to be done and whilst this is largely true and some people have continued to blindly pay them for infringement notices that have no legal standing whatsoever, the fact is that a large proportion of people have become aware of this simple principle.

It is more than abundantly clear that many members of the public who have become aware of the fact that AARTO 03 infringement notices sent by ordinary (or permit) mail which have no legal standing and cannot be pursued by the JMPD have decided that it is okay to simply ignore such infringement notices.

Add to this that in many cases, people have actually not received these unlawfully dispatched infringement notices and it is quite clear that the JMPD has felt the fact that people are not paying their infringement notices and the net result is that the JMPD has taken a financial whack of note.

In November 2011, 17 months after the JMPD stared behaving unlawfully, they suddenly started sending out SMS messages to people telling them that they had significant amounts of "outstanding infringement notices" with the JMPD. They did not escalate the infringement notices to courtesy letters, enforcement orders and warrants of execution. No, they sent SMS messages telling people to "Avoid action" and then had the outright audacity to say "we are not threatening anyone" and this is "a new service". Rubbish! It was a clear and blatant attempt to collect on funds that they are not entitled to!

Sadly, many people fell for this SMS hook, line and sinker and rushed off to payCity to cough up what was in many cases huge amounts of money. Additionally, the JMPD continues to mount no less than 5 roving roadblocks a day to stop motorists and intimidate them into paying these unlawful fines under threat of arrest.

So where does that leave you?

Well, contrary to popular belief, ignoring infringement notices is not the right thing to do! At no stage during this debacle has JPSA so much as suggested this. At no stage have we said "you can ride on the back of our actions to tackle this situation" either, but an indeterminable amount of people have done just that.

Yes, if the office of the Public Protector hands down a finding on this matter or when Fines4U succeeds in their litigation in the High Court, we are certain that everyone will benefit, but until then you are doing yourself no favours by not dealing with your personal situation. Let's just remember that those who have had unlawful AARTO 03 infringement notices issued against them would never had this happen if they did not get caught on camera speeding in the first place.

You can and should complete an AARTO 08 representation form with respect to each and every infringement notice that you have received. If this is done properly, it will result in the cancellation of any AARTO 03 infringement notice that was unlawfully - or indeed not served.

You can either do this yourself by reading what is contained on this page, or we can provide you with an AARTO 08 representation form with the correct representation wording pre-loaded in it.

  • If want to complete the representation form entirely by yourself, then you may download it here but:

    • Please complete it entirely by yourself.
    • Please do not call us to ask what to put down as the reason for your representation.
    • Please do not call us for free advice of any kind. We are certain that you do not work for free and it cannot be deemed as reasonable that we should.
    • Please send your completed form to the address on the form
    • Please remember that you must send it by registered mail.

  • If you want our assistance with completing an AARTO 08 with the correct wording in the representation section, then:

    • We will be happy to provide you with a properly completed form at a fee of R150 per infringement notice for which you wish to use it for.

    • You will need to:

      • Send us a list of all of the infringement notice numbers that you would like a representation form for.

      • Please make certain that this list is in text format and includes the relevant vehicle registration number (number plate) next to each infringement notice number. Screen captures and image type scans are not acceptable.

      • Please note that only the person or entity in whose name the infringement notice has been issued may make use of this service. If you were the driver and not the registered owner of the vehicle in question, you will need to either have them complete an AARTO 07 form or agree to provide their details for the form/s to be completed.

      • Please complete this form in full for each vehicle registration number applicable. Please don't print it out, fill it in by hand and scan it. Please simply complete it on your computer and save it before sending it back to us in Word format.

      • Let us know whether you have received the infringement notice/s in question by regular permit mail or not at all.

      • Provide us with your billing details so that we may send you an invoice.

    • Please Note that you will have to send the completed forms by registered mail to the address on the form.

    • PLEASE NOTE: If the vehicle concerned belongs to a company, trust or other juristic person, only the proxy for that company may make use of this service. If you are an employee who drives a company car, you will have to speak with your employer and make them aware of this service as your representation will be rejected if you are not the proxy. Your employer needs to note that deducting these fine amounts from your salary is not lawful as the fine amounts have been tripled.

We have to ask you to please be patient when you email us for this service as we receive a high volume of emails on a daily basis. We will come back to you in due course but may not do so immediately.

Please also note and understand that the above applies ONLY to AARTO 03 infringement notices issued by the JMPD from 1 June 2010 and sent by ordinary (permit) mail. It does not apply to infringement notices prior to that date and/or received by registered or secure mail. It also does not apply to "notifications of AARTO offences" as described below.

Notification of AARTO Offences - AARTO 33 notice

There is a vast difference between an AARTO 03 infringement notice and a "notification of AARTO offences" letter that is sent to offenders by regular permit mail. The latter is a very serious matter indeed and is a criminal offence in terms of AARTO and the National Road Traffic Act.

As the document says, a summons in terms of Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Act will be served on you to appear in court on a criminal charge of excessive speed in terms of Section 59(4)(b) of the National Road Traffic Act.

Do not take this lightly and we strongly recommend that you engage the services of a competent criminal traffic attorney to defend you in such a matter. If you would like us to recommend such an attorney then you may contact us to do so.

A final piece of advice

Please do not misinterpret JPSA's intent and actions in the way in which we are dealing with this matter. We do not support disregard of the law by anyone, but the word "anyone" includes law enforcement agencies, not just members of the public.

We have not taken this matter up because we wish to give anyone the impression that they may speed with impunity. We have also not taken this matter up because we wish to give anyone the impression that legitimate authority must not be respected.

We have taken this matter up because right is right and wrong is wrong. Law enforcement authorities and motorists alike must obey the law and this is not a negotiable requirement.

Just like the JMPD must obey the provisions of the law when issuing infringement notices all motorists must do likewise. Don't come with pathetic excuses like "it is impossible to stick to the speed limit" or "the speed limit is too low".

It really isn't difficult to abide by the laws that apply to using our roads if one is a competent driver and everyone who has a legitimate driving licence should be acutely aware of what the "rules of the road" are. If you are not aware of what they are, or have become "rusty", then do a refresher course instead of trying to justify your lawlessness.

Just because the JMPD is incapable of enforcing almost every other provision of traffic law beyond so-called speed prosecution does not mean that anyone is absolved of their responsibilities on our roads. But just bear in mind that if you want this nonsensical camera speed enforcement from the bushes to come to an end, the best way to achieve that is to stop making traffic law enforcement authorities and their so-called "contractors" obscenely rich by not adhering to the speed limit.

Maybe one day, if people get this into their skulls, then the JMPD will start enforcing the host of really dangerous moving violations which every motorist on our roads encounters, and some commit every day!

LATEST RELEASE

JOHANNESBURG – More than eighteen months after the JMPD started sending out AARTO 03 infringement notices by standard permit mail in direct violation of Section 30(1) of the AARTO Amendment Act, 1999 (on 1 June 2010), it has emerged that the Acting Registrar of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), Mr Japh Chuwe wrote to JMPD Chief, Chris Ngcobo copying Director Gerrie Gerneke, requesting them to cease this practice on 11 January 2011.  The letter was also copied to the Acting CEO of the RTMC, Mr Collins Letsoalo.

This release has a large amount of information attached to it and has been published here.