The planned roll-out of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is scheduled for national implementation on 1 July 2021, but the Automobile Association (AA) says too many questions about the implementation remain unanswered.

The Association says among the issues which have not been clarified is whether or not motorists will, from 1 July, be receiving AARTO infringement notices, or if they’ll still be receiving the standard fines, as is the case currently.

The AA notes that the last public pronouncement on AARTO was on 19 May 2021 when the Director-General of the Department of Transport, Mr Alec Moemi, briefed the National Council of Province’s Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure about the Department of Transport’s Annual Performance Plan.

During that briefing, Mr Moemi said Phase 1 of AARTO would commence on 1 July. According to him this phase entails “setting up the registry and all requirements, ultimately working towards the introduction of a demerit system. There are five phases for the rollout process.”

“We are, however, unclear as to what this exactly means, or if this means AARTO will be implemented come 1 July at all. Communication on the roll-out of AARTO appears to be happening in the media with the Department of Transport not speaking on the matter at all. All of this is creating huge confusion among motorists throughout the country who are unsure if the legislation is or is not coming into force next month,” says the AA.

Also of concern is that no timeframes have been listed for the competition of Phase 1, what the other Phases of the roll-out entail, and what timeframes have been set for their initiation and completion.

“Within this context motorists are being told that AARTO will be ‘implemented’ on 1 July, with few people, if any, any wiser as to precisely what’s going to happen. Not only is this unfair on motorists, but it again casts doubt over the RTIA’s ability to effectively implement the system once it actually becomes law,” says the AA.

The AA says it’s incumbent upon the government – specifically the Department of Transport – to inform the public of exactly what is happening with the roll-out AARTO, how it will impact on them from 1 July, and what the timeframes for the implementation of the other phases of AARTO are, along with the details of what these phases entail.