Industry association the Road Freight Association (RFA) says the North Gauteng High Court's judgment that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Act (Act 4 of 2019) is unconstitutional is unsurprising because there have been many significant changes made to the original Act (46 of 1998), which had passed Constitutional scrutiny.
"The RFA has been very clear and outspoken about the flaws that the association identified in AARTO that, in our view, were predicated on revenue generation and not on changing driver behaviour and vehicle maintenance to ensure safer roads," says RFA CEO Gavin Kelly.
"The association supports road safety, the role that traffic policing must play in increasing safety, as well as compliance with the various legislative requirements to support safer roads for all users."
Over the 2020/21 festive season, the number and severity of road crashes was dramatically reduced without AARTO being in place.
"The use of resources to specifically target known causes proved that a complicated system of demerit points, administration of drivers and vehicles regarding point thresholds and the payment of levies and penalties to facilitate swifter administration of traffic law obedience is not necessary.
"The RFA supports the non-implementation of a system that would have created administrative labour and cost nightmares for all South African drivers, and more so any company that operates a fleet," Kelly says.
The RFA is studying the full order of the court and the reasoning for its judgment and will wait to see what the Department of Transport plans to do in terms of appealing the judgment.
"We trust the Minister of Transport will consider more effective, targeted, sustainable and implementable solutions to reduce road traffic crashes," says Kelly.