'Aarto bill there to create revenue, not to promote road safety'

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the contentious Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment (Aarto) Bill into law this week. It will be implemented once it is gazetted.

It will see a new demerit system for drivers, where the accumulation of points for traffic infringements can result in the loss of a driver's license.

RELATED: Demerit driver system under Aarto bill edges closer to taking effect

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) plans to fight the bill's implementation with a constitutional challenge.

Portfolio manager for transport Rudie Heyneke says the "cumbersome" new system would infringe on South Africans' constitutional right to a speedy trial, while it also presumes the guilt of an offender.

This act as it stands now presumes you are guilty and you must go and prove your innocence and that is contravention of the Constitution.

Rudie Heyneke, Portfolio manager for transport - Outa

Heyneke says Outa does not disagree with the demerit system in principle, but foresees that the administration thereof will result in lengthy delays.

They presume you are guilty from the start. To go through the whole process - receiving an infringement notice, courtesy letter, later on an enforcement order - all of these notices come with an administration fee on top of the fine amount.

Rudie Heyneke, Portfolio manager for transport - Outa

It looks like this new act is there to create revenue and not to promote road safety, as the main objective of the act should be.

Rudie Heyneke, Portfolio manager for transport - Outa

He says Outa's lawyers have already been instructed.

As soon as the bill is published in the Government Gazette we will take the matter further.

Rudie Heyneke, Portfolio manager for transport - Outa

For more on Outa's objections, take a listen:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Aarto bill there to create revenue, not to promote road safety'


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