Aarto: Government must learn to adhere to its own laws

2017-05-05
Adv Anton Alberts

The Supreme Court in Pretoria today again confirmed the long-time stance of the FF Plus that the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) implements the Aarto Act on an unlawful manner. It should therefore remove all doubt that Aarto is a failure which must scrapped, says Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus's parliamentary spokesperson on transport.

The court found that the RTIA may not appeal against a court judgement in February this year about the matter. It could mean that thousands of traffic fines which was issued under the Aarto Act, is unlawful and will have to be withdrawn.

Adv. Alberts says the main problem with Aarto is that it deprives motorists who receive notices of traffic violations the opportunity to defend themselves.

"The lesson here for government is that it must adhere properly to its own laws. Aarto is currently illegal in many ways.

"The system is clearly a mess and should be scrapped. At the moment it only serves to make roads unsafe because some drivers notice the defects in the system and know there would be no consequences for their offences.

“Thus, all fines which had not been procedurally correct must be removed from the register. The following fines could, therefore, be illegal in terms of the judgment and thus unenforceable,” Adv. Alberts says. (Following examples):

a. Fines where notices had not been issued within 40 days of the infringement.

b. Notices which had not been delivered by registered post or personally to the person receiving the fine;

c. Notices which had been referred for adjudication by the RTIA but which had never been adjudicated;

d. Notices which the recipient had done nothing about and where 64 days had passed without the RTIA had sent a courtesy letter to the individual;

e. If a person did receive a courtesy letter and had not done anything about it and the RTIA had never followed this up with a letter of compliance;

f. If the road user did make a submission to the RTIA about the infringement and no decision had been taken about the submission;

g. If the RTIA did respond to the road user’s submission, but the outcome differs from any other similar submission in terms of other infringements of the road user – which was the case in the court case heard on Friday – and which indicates that the RTIA’s submissions officials had acted arbitrarily and inconsistently.

 

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