Welcome

Burying you in paperwork and convoluted procedures: The AARTO Act “decriminalises” many road traffic offences and entangles you in an administrative scheme that will make your eyes water.

Welcome to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act website.

Get ready! According to the Department of Transport, the AARTO Amendment Act will apply nationwide on 1 July 2021.

This is, of course, if Minister Fikile Mbalula’s claim on 22 January 2021 that “we will implement it by June this year,” is false. If it is true, you can knock a month off the countdown timer above. Worse, it may even be sooner, according to the Department of Transport’s tweet on 3 February 2021.

Just two days later, on 5 February 2021 the RTIA announced that it had suspended the Registrar and other “senior employees” regarding serious maladministration. It remains to be seen if this affects the rush to implement the AARTO Amendment Act nationally.

Background

Originally passed into law in 1998, the AARTO Act has been in force for more than twelve years in the jurisdictions of the Metropolitan Municipalities of Tshwane (from 1 July 2008) and Johannesburg (from 1 November 2008). Surprisingly though, it is apparent that few people know much, if anything about the AARTO Act and how it affects them.

The AARTO Act differs entirely from the Criminal Procedure Act which has been and still is used to prosecute road traffic offences everywhere in South Africa except Johannesburg and Tshwane.

According to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), 51% of people surveyed at licensing centres in Gauteng in late 2017 knew nothing about the AARTO Act. This is despite the RTIA’s legislated mandate to educate motorists and the fact that the AARTO Act’s so-called “pilot” implementation is well over a decade old.

Since 13 August 2019, the AARTO Amendment Act has been in the news, with the Department and Minister of Transport, together with the RTIA telling everyone that the primary goal of the AARTO Act is to improve road safety. But even a cursory glance at it will tell you something completely different. Its real purpose is to expedite the collection of traffic fine revenues and to impose an ominous administrative burden on those who stand accused of violating traffic laws.

We provide the information you need – now!

On this website, you will find all the information you need to better understand this convoluted scheme, and protect yourself from its many, administratively burdensome provisions.

While the AARTO Amendment Act, which is to apply nationally is similar to the current version which applies in Johannesburg and Tshwane, it has numerous differences, the most significant of which is the introduction of “electronic service” and removing ones right to be tried by a competent court. This is why we are forced to split the two versions, as can be seen below and in the navigation bar.

IMPORTANT FACT: Astonishingly, under the AARTO scheme, you do not have the constitutional right to be presumed innocent. If a traffic official alleges that you have committed an infringement, it is up to you to prove that you have not!

If you are looking for a simplified explanation on how the AARTO Amendment Act will operate nationally if/when it is implemented, please click here.

If you are looking for a simplified but practical explanation on how the currently applicable AARTO Act functions in Johannesburg and Tshwane only, please click here.

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