Home South African Aarto Act is imperative to change driver behaviour – Mbalula

Aarto Act is imperative to change driver behaviour – Mbalula

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Government will appeal the high court declaring the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act invalid.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

GOVERNMENT will appeal the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruling declaring the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto ) unconstitutional and invalid.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced the decision at Grasmere Toll Plaza on Tuesday as he released the 2021 festive season fatality statistics.

“The Aarto provides an adjudication system for infringements of the rules of the road determined by the National Road Traffic Act. Aarto is the final piece of the puzzle in the implementation of a new road traffic management system by the democratic state. The importance of Aarto in driving behaviour change of motorist and providing disincentives for unbecoming conduct cannot be overemphasised,” Mbalula said.

“It is for these reasons that we have decided to appeal the ruling of the Pretoria High Court declaring the Aarto Act unconstitutional and invalid.”

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said the decision did not come as a shock.

Outa’s senior legal project manager Andrea van Heerden said: “Minister Mbalula would be better advised to consult widely with civil society and major road safety stakeholders to gain input on meaningful initiatives to improve law enforcement and develop a national culture of road safety which is constitutionally sound in law and effective.”

Outa said that as the high court has declared Aarto unconstitutional, they will now bring an application to the Constitutional Court for the high court finding to be confirmed.

A total of 1,685 road fatalities were recorded over the festive period, a 14 percent increase compared to the previous period.

The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are the only provinces that recorded a decline in fatalities, while the Northern Cape and Western Cape recorded the highest percentage increases in fatalities.

Traffic law enforcement officers issued 264,690 fines for various traffic offences, more than 21,000 of them for drivers who failed to wear seatbelts and more than 22,700 for people driving without licences.

More than 1,500 drunken drivers were arrested.

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