South African road accidents and deaths cost the country in excess of R168 billion according to the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula. Road traffic accidents are also the leading cause of death of young people aged between 5 and 29 years. Yet, despite a reduction in fatalities over the 2019 festive season period, we are nowhere close to achieving our goal, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals and echoed in the National Development Plan (NDP), of halving the deaths cause by accidents on our roads by 2020.
“South African road safety statistics remain amongst the worst in the world which has necessitated the development of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, or AARTO system, as it is known,” says road traffic and transport legislation consultant, Alta Swanepoel. “The goal of AARTO is to ensure that traffic offenders and infringers are held accountable and penalised for their non-compliance with the road rules.”
Due for national roll-out on 01 July 2021, according to Minister Mbalula, failure to adhere to AARTO rules could result in driving licence and vehicle suspensions. As such it is vital that anyone who drives a vehicle on a public road knows what the Act is about and how it will affect them.
Swanepoel, who was also part of the team to draft the AARTO Regulations and Schedules, and is the editor of Road Traffic & Road Transport Legislation Service has developed an online training course to assist company representatives and individuals understand the impact of the legislation.
The self-paced AARTO Act and draft AARTO Regulations course, offered in partnership with LexisNexis, consists of three modules covering the purpose of the legislation, administrative procedures, demerit points, discounts, forms, and a list of all the offences and infringements impacted by the legislation.
It also includes a comprehensive manual with the AARTO Act and Draft Regulations as they will apply, as well as general notes on the impact of the legislation on company proxies, drivers, operators etc, providing expert, user-friendly advice to employers, senior executives, management staff and employees in complying with the legislation. The course costs R2950 per delegate with a 5% discount offered for 5 – 9 delegate group bookings or 10% discount for 10 or more delegate groups.
The AARTO Draft Regulations were published for comment on 02 October 2020 following the signing of the AARTO Amendment Act, 2019 by the President in August last year. While serious road traffic offences will still be prosecuted in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (CPA), AARTO will be implemented to replace the system used for the issuing of traffic fines and brings with it improved fine collection procedures, more convenient ways of paying fines and penalties for non-compliance.
Road users, business owners, fleet managers and compliance officers need to have a clear understanding of the terms, conditions and penalties involved in AARTO, including the demerit system, an integral and vital part of the legislation.
Need a clear understanding of AARTO? Click here to sign up for the online course
About Alta Swanepoel
Alta Swanepoel was part of the team that drafted the South African National Road Traffic Act and Regulations, the AARTO Regulations and Schedules. She has consulted to government organisations in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Jamaica as well as to SANRAL, TRAC, Bakwena and the National Department of Transport.
Alta has been involved in AARTO, TCSP and AA Technical Committee projects and conducted refresher course training for traffic officers as well as annual Road Traffic Legislation Workshops. She is the contributing author to the Road Traffic & Road Transport Legislation Service published by LexisNexis and aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice with her title and this course.