ConCourt declares AARTO Act constitutional

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The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act and the AARTO Amendment Act are constitutional, according to a decision handed down by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has challenged the introduction of a new strict demerit system for traffic infringements. This follows last year’s High Court ruling which declared parts of the legislation unconstitutional.

AARTO is the legislation that provides for the penalising of drivers and operators of motor vehicles guilty of traffic or road infringements through a system of demerit points which may lead to the suspension and ultimately the cancellation of driving licences.

Blow for OUTA

This is a blow for the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), which sought to have the law declared unconstitutional and invalid.

OUTA had argued that through the legislation the national government was trying to take the control the issuing of traffic violations from provinces and municipalities. It also said that the legislation had unlawfully interfering in the exclusive executive and legislative competence of the local and provincial governments.

OUTA’s Stephanie Fick has described the ruling as disappointing.

“OUTA is however concerned that government will struggle to implement AARTO due to the red tape and potential corruption. AARTO has already failed to improve road safety. Merely legislating policy does not make it rational or workable. Government often suffer from a false belief that if laws and regulations are in place the people will simply comply. OUTA believes that measures to improve road safety and reduce fatalities are urgently needed.”