Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has called on the public to make submissions on the amendments to the regulations for the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

This happens as Mbalula also invited the public to comment on the names of nine people he intended to appoint to serve on the board of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

The calls for comments are signs that the government is forging ahead with its legislation that is aimed at changing the behaviour of drivers through a demerit system.

In a government gazette published a few days ago, Mbalula said he intended to amend the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences regulations which were published in July 2008.

The amended legislation seeks to improve the method of serving documents to infringers, adds functions to the Road Traffic Infringement Authority, and also provides for the establishment of the Appeals Tribunal, among other things.

The amended law will come into operation on a date to be fixed by proclamation in a government gazette.

Earlier this month, Ramaphosa said the Aarto Act was one of the interventions to forge a more effective and efficient link between enforcement and a transparent and fair adjudication process.

“The Act promotes responsible behaviour on our roads through the creation of a demerit system, which introduces meaningful consequences for reckless, negligent and inconsiderate conduct.

“With this, South Africa is joining a growing number of countries worldwide where the consequences of infringements and offences are felt in the pockets, livelihoods and lives of those who break the law,” he said.

According to Aarto, failure to pay traffic fines could lead to a block on obtaining driving and vehicle licences, and an administrative fee.

It also provides for authorities to serve documents electronically and also send reminders via WhatsApp and text messaging.

The Aarto Act states that once found to be at fault, steps will be taken against a motorist. This means the cancellation of a motorist’s licence once they have three suspension results against their name, and if they have more than 12 demerit points.

In terms of the published regulations, an infringer is to be served with an Infringement Notice where a person has allegedly committed an offence.

It also provides for detailed information regarding infringements and offences to be recorded on the National Traffic Offences Register.

The Aarto Act provides for Road Traffic Infringement Agency to represent and control the agency.

Mbalula has already begun the process of setting up the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

He published a notice inviting comments by not later than this month, on the names of nine people who have been nominated to serve on the body.

Political Bureau