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AARTO judgement: road freight body responds

Home Business Management Legal AARTO judgement: road freight body responds

The Road Freight Association (RFA) has welcomed a decision by Pretoria High Court to declare the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act unconstitutional and invalid.

RFA CEO Gavin Kelly said they had not been surprised by judgement, as many changes had been made to the Act which had passed Constitutional scrutiny in its original form as a Bill.

While the association supported road safety and the role of traffic policing in increasing safety, “we have 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,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the RFA hoped that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula would consider a more effective, targeted, sustainable and implementable solutions to reduce road crashes.

He said that during the 2020/2021 festive season, the number and severity of crashes was dramatically reduced, despite AARTO not being in place across most of South Africa.

This use of resources to target known causes proved that a complicated system of demerit points and administration red tape, including the payment of levies and penalties was 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.”

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) took the matter to court in October 2021. Mbalula has meanwhile announced that the Department of Transport will appeal the ruling.

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