Phase 2 of the rollout of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) has begun, which will bring significant changes to traffic fines in South Africa.
This is according to a report by BusinessTech, who spoke to Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) spokesperson Monde Mkalipi about the implementation.
The second phase of the Aarto project will run between October and December 2021, and will see 67 local and metropolitan municipalities gain access to the system.
How it works
According to the RTIA, the Aarto system will penalise drivers and fleet operators who have infringed on traffic laws by imposing demerit points that could lead to the suspension or cancellation of licences, professional driving permits, or operator cards.
It will also introduce the electronic service of documents such as traffic infringements.
This means that the new traffic fine system will give motorists the option to receive their fines through the post, via SMS or mobile messaging services, or online, including emails.
Motorists will be able to choose which option they prefer through the Aarto onboarding process, said Mkalipi.
He also said that traffic authorities will be able to track if a fine has been sent via email or SMS, but not whether it has been seen or read by the recipient.
Under the Aarto act, a number of traffic-related crimes that were historically classed as criminal offences have now been decriminalized, leading to a new process of serving fines to motorists.
Following an offence, a motorist will receive an infringement notice that gives them 32 days to respond by paying a fine and incurring the applicable demerit points.
Failure to respond will result in a courtesy letter to be sent to the motorist with an additional R200 fine due to missing the first deadline.
If both deadlines are missed, an enforcement order will be sent to the motorist and they will be blocked from performing licence-related activities on the Natis system.
To remove the block, the motorist will have to pay an additional R300 over the original fine and incur the applicable demerit points.
A maximum of 15 demerit points can be received by a driver. After this, they will be disqualified from driving their vehicle.
The duration of the disqualification will equal three months for every point over the 15-point limit.
The table below provides a breakdown of several common traffic offences – along with how many demerit points are associated with them.
Failure to comply and licences
|Failure to stop vehicle on the command of a traffic officer||N/A||6|
|Failure to comply with the direction of a police officer who is directing traffic||R2,000||3|
|Operated a vehicle on a public road with expired licence||R2,000||3|
|Operated a vehicle on a public road without a licence||R2,000||3|
|Driving a vehicle with a learner’s licence with no licensed driver in the car||R3,500||5|
Roadworthiness and lights
|Removed or altered components of vehicle affecting its roadworthiness||R3,500||5|
|Operated a vehicle with a brake that is not in good working order||R3,500||5|
|Operated a vehicle with a damaged lamp (light)||R1,000||1|
|Operated a vehicle between sunset and sunrise or during unfavourable visibility conditions without lamps||R1,500||2|
|Stop lamp (light) not emitting a red light when in use||R1,000||1|
|Driver did not ensure that all passengers were wearing seatbelts||R1,500||1|
|Vehicle not fitted with seatbelts correctly||R1,000||1|
|Seatbelts not working properly||R500||1|
Traffic signs and speed limits
|Failed to obey stop sign||R1,500||2|
|Failed to obey yield sign||R1,000||1|
|Failed to obey directions at a four-way stop sign||R1,500||2|
|Failed to comply with directions of a road traffic sign by not maintaining or exceeding the specified speed limit||R1,000||1|
|Failed to comply with directions of a road traffic sign by not passing on the left-hand side||R500||1|