The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) Amendment Bill has been passed by Parliament and is now ready to be signed into law by the President.
“Through the AARTO Amendment Bill, we will be introducing the Points Demerit System. This system will allow us to identify, rehabilitate and ultimately eliminate habitual offenders found on our road transport network,” Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said.
Addressing the official launch of the 2019 Easter Road Safety Campaign on Monday, the Minister said the rollout of the AARTO service outlets at selected driving licence testing centres in Gauteng has started.
“These service outlets will contribute towards eliminating ‘runners’, who wait outside the registering authority / issuing authority or licensing department, where they trick road users by claiming that they have connections inside and can help to resolve traffic fines quickly in return for payment.
“We will continue to roll out these centres countrywide. This… means that all road users will be accountable for any deviant and reckless actions perpetuated on our roads,” Nzimande said.
The Minister launched the campaign at a media and stakeholder breakfast at the Golden Horse Hotel in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. The Easter campaign is aimed at increasing driver awareness and reducing road accidents during and post the Easter period.
The focus of this year’s campaign is on the impact of alcohol on road users’ behavior and its contribution to road carnages.
The Minister has appealed to motorists and law enforcement officers that they must avoid all forms of temptations that might lead them to be collaborators of crime.
“I warn you that we will arrest everyone involved in crime without fear or favour,” he said.
Nzimande said government continues to take firm and urgent measures to deal with fraud and corruption within the traffic law enforcement personnel.
“Working together with the National Anti-Corruption Unit and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, we continue to arrest traffic officers who instead of issuing fines for traffic violations, they demand gratification or bribes from motorist.
“We will continue to crackdown of corruption and the fraudulent issuing of driving licenses and roadworthy certificates. Our anti-corruption units will be keeping a close watch on traffic officers who will be deployed on our country’s roads during this Easter period,” the Minister said.
Members of the public have been encouraged to report bribery and corruption on 0861400800 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the Minister, South Africa spends in the region of R162 billion annually on road crashes, which is equal to 3.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“If all road users remain committed to road safety, resources that government spends unwittingly on crashes would be redirected to other government priorities such as infrastructure, education and health,” he said.
During the launch, the Department of Transport showcased the Evidentiary Breathalyser Alcohol Testing (EBAT).
“The use of technology, will greatly enhance our ability and success in implementing the National Road Safety Strategy and plans. This includes ensuring that at all times during our roadblocks targeted at alcohol testing, we have registered nursing sisters.
“This will ensure that no driver will evade being arrested for drinking and driving.” the Minister said.