Welcome to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act website.
The Department of Transport and its State Owned Enterprise – the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (to be renamed the Road Traffic Infringement Authority) are pulling out all the stops to convince everyone that this grossly unconstitutional law will enhance road safety. What they are not telling everyone is that it doesn’t tackle a single, serious road traffic offence and focuses almost solely on revenue generation.
But before we get ahead of ourselves and start debating whether the AARTO Amendment Bill will constitute the cure-all to South Africa’s truly catastrophic road carnage track-record or not, it must not be forgotten that the AARTO Act, as it stands right now and has stood as promulgated law for almost a decade, is full of unconstitutional provisions – few of which would be addressed by the AARTO Amendment Bill.
For these reasons, Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson of Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) resolved in September 2016 that the time for discussions and quiet diplomacy regarding the AARTO Act had long since come to an end. Since then, he’s been working with some of the best legal minds around to draw up the papers for the legal and constitutional challenge of the AARTO Act, other legislation, and the dubious practices employed by some authorities must now face.
On Friday 6 April 2018, after almost two years of painstaking work, Dembovsky’s application was filed in the Gauteng Division of the High Court at Pretoria, under case number 24245/18. It is also published in full, right here on this website for the perusal of anyone who may be interested in reading it.
Don’t be fooled! Introducing a points-demerit system into South African road traffic law does not need the courts and entire South African legal system to be disposed of and replaced by the administrative (automated) processes the AARTO Act wants to see take over. If government genuinely wanted to introduce a points-demerit system, it could have done so at any time in the past – by simply incorporation a few clauses into the National Road Traffic Act. The AARTO Act is about making money. Nothing more. Nothing less!
The current status of Dembovsky’s challenge can be followed here.
In the interim, the AARTO Amendment Bill 2015 is still pending approval by the National Council of Provinces.