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The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has provided an update on the implementation of AARTO, following comment this week by the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, which questioned its progress.

In a media statement, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) said it “acknowledges with concern the delays in the finalisation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill of 2015.

“Indeed the amount of time the country has taken preparing for the introduction of the point demerit system as a response to delinquent and unsavoury motorist behaviour leading to high road tolls is a cause for concern.Thus RTIA is encouraged by the amount of civic society and stakeholder debates which continue to bring this matter to the centre of country’s agenda for addressing road high rates of road deaths and injuries plaguing the country’s roads.

“It is, however, important to report that RTIA and the Department of Transport are embarking on widespread and extensive consultation processes which are necessary steps towards ensuring that enough buy-in and awareness is obtained from all affected stakeholders which will be impacted by the National Roll-Out of AARTO.

Consultation and engagements currently undertaken with the local and provincial authorities are run through the National AARTO Implementation Fora which sees the representation of all Issuing Authorities across the country, amongst other key stakeholders.

“The RTIA wishes to emphasise that these engagements are a due process in the development of any legislation. The figure of approximately 13 000 road users who died in 2015 alone is too high and indeed decisive drastic steps need to be taken to stop the carnage. It is for this reason that RTIA through the Office of the Honorable Minister of Transport, Ms. Dipuo Peters continuously appeals for reasonable urgency in the Parliamentary processes to enable for the promulgation of the AARTO Amendment Act into law as this will see the national roll-out of the AARTO system and demerit points.

Through the national roll out of AARTO and the demerit point system, RTIA believes motorists will be compelled to change their delinquent behaviour and therefore see a remarkable reduction in road crashes and road deaths.

On 04 November 2015 the Cabinet approved the introduction of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill of 2015 in Parliament. The Bill amends the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, 1998 (Act 46 of 1998).

The Bill will assist the Road Traffic Infringement Agency and the issuing authorities to be financially stable, and it also introduces efficiencies in serving notices to infringers.

Currently, the Bill is being consulted with Parliament Portfolio Committee on Transport. Some of the proposed provisions of the Bill will have implications on other areas which include rehabilitation of road infringers as well as capacitation of the traffic authorities to effectively administer the legislation. Added to some of the imperatives is the expeditious adjudication over the traffic offences.

According to the Agency’s Registrar, Mr. Japh Chuwe, “the RTIA will continue to monitor the consultation processes as they are conducted by Parliament. Furthermore, the Agency calls upon all stakeholders to participate in the public participation process while implementing other road safety measures to reduce deaths on our roads.”

Mr. Chuwe is urging members of the public to participate in the public hearings which will be convened by Parliament in due course.

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