The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has warned road users that the provisions of the Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act are still enforceable until the Pretoria High Court judgment declaring the act unconstitutional and invalid is confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
“Aarto implementation continues until the judgment on the constitutionality of the Aarto Act has been subjected to all due legal review processes,” it said on Wednesday.
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) CEO Wayne Duvenage confirmed on Tuesday that Outa was in the process of filing a confirmation application to the Constitutional Court for it to confirm the high court ruling.
The RTIA also reminded road users to take advantage of the Aarto elective options to resolve their Aarto fines.
It said the elective options contained in the Aarto Act include:
Receiving a 50% discount if the infringement is paid within 32 days of receipt of the infringement notice;
Submitting a representation to dispute an Aarto infringement;
Nominating the driver in control of the vehicle to transfer the infringement;
Submitting an application to pay in instalments if the fine/s exceed R750; and
Electing to be tried in court.
“These are rights and options accorded to motorists through the Aarto Act,” it said.
It urged motorists to familiarise themselves with the act in order to understand these “immediate benefits” of the act.
“In the end, they will be able to select the specific option suitable to address their particular Aarto infringement,” it said.
The RTIA added that Aarto is a national road safety intervention designed to change the behaviour of road users towards curbing the high number of fatalities that occur on the country’s roads.
It said it is estimated that almost 14 000 road users die on South Africa’s roads annually due to traffic law violations committed by infringers.
The RTIA referred to the announcement by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday that a decision had been taken to appeal the judgment, adding that the board of directors of the RTIA has adopted a resolution to join Mbalula in appealing the high court judgment.
Mbalula said on Tuesday that Aarto is the final piece of the puzzle in the implementation of a new road traffic management system by the government.
“The importance of Aarto in driving behaviour change of motorists and providing disincentives for unbecoming conduct cannot be overemphasised.
“It is for these reasons that we have decided to appeal the ruling of the Pretoria High Court declaring the Aarto Act unconstitutional and invalid,” he said.
Judge Annali Basson said in her judgment that Section 41(1)(g) of the Constitution stipulates that each sphere of government must exercise its powers in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere.
Outa, which brought the application, argued that the two acts (the Aarto Act and the Aarto Amendment Act) usurp the executive legislative authority of the provincial legislatures by regulating road traffic and creating a single, national system to do so.
Basson said the Constitutional Court has, in a number of judgments, made it clear that the executive power conferred exclusively on municipalities and provincial governments may not be encroached upon by national legislation.