A summary of what AARTO is all about
Fines Under AARTO
Traffic fines issued under the AARTO system are standardised across all municipal areas and where one municipality's juristic district would have levied a fine of R100 for a particular offence whilst another levied a fine of R500 for the same offence, this will be a thing of the past under AARTO.
All fine values under AARTO are set by the provisions of the AARTO Regulations and are contained in the AARTO charge book which carries the appropriate charge code and relevant section of the National Road Traffic Act or National Road Traffic Regulations. There is also provision for the enforcement of municipal and provincial by-laws, including "parking tickets".
Traffic authorities, municipalities and magistrates courts may no longer make up or determine their own fine values.
Issuing of AARTO 01, 02 an 03 infringement notices (fines).
There are only a few ways in which an infringement notice may be issued to you.
- By a traffic officer at the site of the alleged infringement. (AARTO 01 or 02)
- By a traffic authority who has captured an alleged infringement electronically - i.e. by camera. (AARTO 03) within 40 days of the alleged infringement and serving it on you via registered mail. There is NO PROVISION for personal service of AARTO 03 infringement notices.
- By a traffic authority issuing you with an infringement notice sometime after you have been issued with an AARTO 31 (unattended vehicle) notification. (AARTO 03) within 40 days of the alleged infringement and serving it on you via registered mail. To reiterate, there is NO PROVISION for personal service of AARTO 03 infringement notices.
In the case of a traffic officer issuing you with an infringement notice, the AARTO lifecycle comes into play immediately when the infringement notice is issued.
In the case of an infringement notice that is issued after the fact, the traffic authority may issue the infringement notice up to 40 days after the alleged infringement occurred. If they take longer than 40 days to issue the infringement notice, then it is invalid and unlawful. The lifecycle of the AARTO process then comes into effect from the day on which it is delivered to the accused by registered mail, or 10 days after posting via registered mail.
Delivery of infringement notices.
When a traffic officer issues and infringement notice to a person, the accused's particulars are recorded on the infringement notice and they are obliged to sign for the infringement notice.
However, when an AARTO 03 is issued after the fact - as in electronic enforcement (camera fines), these must be sent to the accused by means of registered post.
It is important to note that an infringement notice sent via registered post is deemed to have been delivered to you 10 days after posting. This is precisely why registered mail is required for service of AARTO 03 infringement notices.
There is absolutely no point or benefit to not collecting infringement notices sent to you and not doing so merely self-deprives you of any of your rights which are available under AARTO.
Discounts for early settlement of fines.
If a fine is paid within 32 days of the receipt of the infringement notice, then a 50% discount may be taken by the person who pays the fine.
Paying your fine early does not mean that the associated points will not be added to your driving licence, it just means that you will have to pay less than if you settle later or are unsuccessful in challenging your fine.
Removal of the criminality of lesser traffic offences.
All traffic offences have, prior to the introduction of AARTO been administered by the Criminal Procedures Act. Under the "old" system, traffic authorities were compelled to prosecute offenders in accordance with this Act and those who did not pay their fines could be summonsed to court for fines as low as R50.
The AARTO Act completely removes the criminal factor from the more minor traffic infringements and replaces them with civil proceedings.
The consequences of not paying your fines.
Simply ignoring traffic fines will have dire financial consequences under AARTO.
AARTO does not however make any provision for arrest for minor traffic infringements like is the case with "old style" traffic enforcement.
No longer will Metro Police or other traffic authorities be entitled to set up roadblocks and force people to pay fines under threat of arrest. Doing so is in fact a severe infringement of your rights under AARTO and constitutes intimidation and, if you are detained in any way, unlawful arrest for which you may institute civil litigation against the traffic authority, the Minister of Police, the Municipality and the officer concerned.
Even though much of what has happened in the past at roadblocks has been legally questionable, the behaviour, intimidation and extortion of the past is now outlawed under AARTO. The threatens leveled on motorists by Director Gerneke of the JMPD with respect to "inconveniencing them" is nothing short of intimidation and extortion and shows his complete willingness to break the law in order to attain his objectives of revenue generation for the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.
Before you get too excited, please be sure to complete the entire AARTO explained section.
This does not mean that the authorities cannot come after you though. The migration to civil, administrative procedures simply means that you cannot be arrested.
Failing to pay your fine within the allotted 32 day discount period will result in the consequential processes. Paying it will result in the associated points being added to your driving licence.
If you are in any way harassed at a roadblock with respect to outstanding AARTO infringement notices, contact JPSA immediately so that we may assist in gaining the appropriate legal remedy for you.
Document last revised: 3 April, 2011