The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) recently announced that the proposed roll out of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is going ahead as planned. The staggered roll out is expected to be completed by 31 December 2010.
Although the South African Vehicle and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) fully supports the implementation of AARTO, as well as its objectives, our concern for our members has stemmed from the problems posed by traffic fines. It is not car rental companies who are traffic offenders, but rather the clients driving the cars. Many SAVRALA members have accumulated large volumes of traffic fines, many of which have not been redirected by the authorities to the offenders in question. This has resulted in SAVRALA members being harassed and the delay in registration and licensing of vehicles etc.
Consider this statistic: SAVRALA members accumulate an estimated 400,000 traffic fines per annum. Of these 150,000 are from foreign residents and they all need to be re-directed. Currently the first infringement notice goes to the relevant SAVRALA member, not the driver responsible. This results in a lengthy process to re-direct the penalty to the driver – a mission which is often impossible. Not only does this delay the payment of the penalty, it also means that the SAVRALA member remains liable.
AARTO is managed by the RTMC to ensure the proper and effective functioning of its systems and processes, with law enforcement being the key focus. Both the RTMC and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) have agreed with SAVRALA that there is a need for a practical, holistic and sustainable solution to the processing of fines. They understand that avoiding the risks, delays and costs relating to the posting of documentation and subsequent manual processing is vital and have therefore granted SAVRALA access to The National Traffic Information System (e-NaTIS).
SAVRALA will now undertake to develop an automated system that pays specific attention to the needs of rental and leasing sections whilst complying with the AARTO Act and other relevant regulations. This system will help streamline the current process of re-directing the fines as the notice of infringement will be issued directly to the driver – valuable time will be saved and SAVRALA members will no longer be liable.