Transport denies Aarto delays
The Department of Transport (DOT) has denied media reports that the highly contested points demerit system for drivers, has been delayed again.
The system, which will be implemented under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act has been widely criticised by motorists and several organisations.
Responding to a media statement by Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) chairman, Howard Dembovsky, the DOT stated that Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele is yet to announce a date for the national roll-out of AARTO.
“Once the minister is fully satisfied that the national roll-out of AARTO may proceed, a date will be announced accordingly in due course… The roll-out of AARTO is envisaged during the new financial year, which commences on 1 April 2011 and ends on 31 March 2012,” the statement reveals.
The RTMC has piloted the demerit system in the Tshwane and Johannesburg Metropolitan areas. While the pilot revealed problems with law enforcement, systems and procedure environments – the RTMC repeatedly dismissed recommendations from the Justice Project of SA (JPSA) and the National Metropolitan Police Chiefs Forum (NMPCF) to delay national implementation.
Last year, the RTMC and the DOT decided to postpone the implementation of the Act – originally set for the metropolitan authorities of Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and the City of Cape Town on 1 July 2010 and on 1 November 2010 countrywide.
The national roll-out of AARTO during 2010 was postponed based on representations that the minister received from various sectors, including certain provinces, municipalities and organised labour, requesting for a postponement.
When the system is finally implemented, demerit points will reflect against the driving licences of infringing motorists on the National Contravention Register, on eNatis. This may lead to the suspension and ultimately the cancellation of a drivers licence.
The RTMC is responsible for the administration of the AARTO project and is set to spend over R300 million on IT solutions and marketing for the project.
“Over the past few months, the Department of Transport, Road Traffic Management Corporation and other stakeholders have been working all out to ensure that all outstanding issues for the national implementation of AARTO are resolved”.
“At the three-day Transport Lekgotla held in Cape Town last week (24 to 26 February 2011), Minister Ndebele reiterated that the Department of Transport is ensuring that we expedite the establishment of structures and process for the national roll-out of AARTO,” the DOT revealed.