The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offenses (AARTO) Amendment Bill has effectively been rejected by the Western Cape.
This controversial proposed traffic law seeks to impose a demerit points system for various traffic violations. If a driver has accumulated 12 demerit points three times in a row, their driver’s license could be confiscated and destroyed. It is proposed, however, that the driver would lose one point if no further traffic offenses occur after one month.
A disqualified motorist is required to hand in their drivers license or professional driving permit to the nearest municipality, and will be banned from applying for another driver’s license or permit during the three-month disqualification period.
The provincial standing committee on transport and public works has rejected the proposed legislation, which was sent to provincial legislature by the National Council of Provinces some months ago.
Nceba Hinana, a Democratic Alliance MPL, told IOL that problems had already occurred during the legislature’s piloting in Tshwane and the Johannesburg metropolitan municipalities.
Hinana admitted that the proposed amendment bill does offer solutions to the problems raised during the piloting.
The AARTO Act of 1998 was implemented to ensure greater compliance with traffic laws and regulations by delegating the adjudication of traffic offences to an autonomous body, and creating a merit-based system.
More than 10 000 public comments were received regarding the bill, and five public hearings held in February led to the majority rejecting the bill.
The major concern highlighted by the public was the administration of finances at a national level.
Hinana said that a merit-based system may be a good a good idea in theory, but puts livelihoods of those who drive for a living in the country at risk.
In its submission to Parliament, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) said it supported the purpose of the AARTO legislation, but was concerned that the system had failed during its pilot phase. Fatalities in the pilot did not decrease.