South Africa is getting ‘service outlets’ to manage its new driving laws – here’s how they will work

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has launched three new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) service outlets in Limpopo as part of a phased rollout across the country.

The Aarto system will penalise drivers and fleet operators guilty of traffic offences or infringements by imposing demerit points that could lead to the suspension or cancellation of licences, professional driving permits or operator cards.

The outlets have two main priorities: public information and services – informing motorists of their rights and options as contained in the Aarto Act.

Under the new regulations, if a motorist commits an infringement, they can always dispute it using ‘representation’ to prove the particular circumstances behind why they infringed.

In the case where someone else is driving a person’s car, a motorist can also indicate that it was not them who infringed, and the fine can be re-routed to the actual infringer.

“At the heart of the Aarto process are the rights and options provided to motorists through the Aarto Act. Aarto service outlets are bringing such rights and options to the doorstep of the motorists. Aarto is designed to ensure that there is justice in the adjudication of traffic infringements,” the RTIA said.

Services

The RTIA said that the service outlets would also effectively act as a branch or local office, rendering an array of Aarto service offerings to the public, including the forms needed to challenge any fines.

“Road users will be afforded an opportunity to check their Aarto infringement status and also receive advice on how to resolve such infringements by selecting from the available legislated elective options. No cash payments are taken at the Aarto service outlet.

“However, all the information on where payments can be made is available at the service points. In future, only card payments will be made at the Aarto service outlets,” the RTIA said.

Phase 1 of the Aarto, which ran from July to September 2021, has seen the RTIA increase its national footprint by implementing seven service outlets and online services such as the Aarto website and deployment of the Aarto mobile application.

Phase 2 of the project, which will run between October and December 2021, will see the Aarto come online in 67 local and metropolitan municipal areas, the agency said.

The agency said that the project is still on track for all four phases, with the new points demerit system and driver rehabilitation programme going live on 1 July 2022.

A further breakdown of the different phases can be found below:

Phase Dates Description
Phase 1 1 July 2021 –
30 September 2021
  • Establishment of 7 Aarto Service Outlets.
  • The start of the processing of Aarto elective options in Issuing Authorities & Aarto Service Outlets.
  • Deepen nationwide Aarto awareness.
Phase 2 1 October 2021 –
31 December 2021
  • Implementation of Aarto in 67 local & metro municipal areas.
  • 18 Aarto Service Outlets will also be established.
  • Aarto adjudication process shall also commence.
  • The Appeals Tribunal will become functional.
Phase 3 1 January 2022 –
30 June 2022
  • Introduction of Aarto in the remaining proclaimed 144 Local Municipal Areas
Phase 4 1 July 2022
  • Introduction of the Points Demerit System on 01 July 2022.
  • Phasing in of the Rehabilitation program.
  • 20 self-service kiosks will also be established.

Read: South Africa’s new driving rules are being challenged – what you should know

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South Africa is getting ‘service outlets’ to manage its new driving laws – here’s how they will work