Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offenses.
What does AARTO stand for?
It is an acronym for ‘Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offenses. The AARTO Amendment Act aims to create a safer driving environment for all motorists and pedestrians and to ensure that offences are dealt with fairly. It is administered by the “Road Traffic Infringement Authority” (RTIA), which is a State-Owned Entity funded almost solely by traffic fines.
What is this Act used for?
The AARTO Act does not deal with serious road traffic offences like reckless, negligent or drunken driving, these offences are still dealt with criminally. However, it replaces the Criminal Procedure Act in prosecuting road traffic offences.
How does AARTO differ from the Criminal Procedure Act?
Although it may differ in many ways, one of the most important ways is by removing the authority of the Magistrates Courts to prosecute criminal trials for so-called “minor” road traffic offences.
It employs an administrative system to escalate traffic fines from issuing to finality. The Criminal Procedure Act applies everywhere in South Africa except Johannesburg and Tshwane !!!
Is the AARTO Act a points-demerit system?
Yes, it is, the AARTO Act has a points-demerit system which again has not been applied in Johannesburg or Tshwane over more than 12 years of implementation. The legislation’s main purpose is to migrate traffic fines out of the courts and into an administrative scheme.
An administrative scheme is one where the motorist must act or react, if / when you stand accused of committing an infringement. If you fail to act, this will not stall the system, it will ensure that it progresses to finality and additional amounts are added to initial fine.
Ignoring a traffic fine will cause serious consequences. Points will be applied, and licensing transactions will be blocked if you fail to act if / when you receive a traffic fine.