CONTROVERSIAL: New bill includes demerit system

Parliament has given the green light for the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) bill.

It was passed on Tuesday in the National Assembly as the vote went 174 in favour, 11 against and 22 abstentions.

The bill will now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

The Aarto Bill was tabled in 2015, and was passed by an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly in September 2017, reports Cape Argus.

Despite the government’s claims that the introduction of the amended Aarto Act will make South African roads safer, local civil right groups maintain that the new road laws will do little to curb traffic violations.

Some of the proposals in the bill involve the removal of legal challenges relating to traffic fines.

The delivery process of fines and notices is also set to change under the amendment, and a demerit proposal is set to have a huge impact on the owners of transport companies.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has previously raised concerns about the bill that it paves the way for corruption and seeks to accommodate Sanral’s e-toll collections.

“We once again request that the president and his advisers take a good look at the bill, as well as the submissions from the public, before signing off on a bill that will have a detrimental impact on our economy,” said Rudie Heyneke, Outa’s portfolio manager for Transport.

[email protected]