Motorists, taxi industry react to newly launched AARTO system

Motorists and the taxi industry have reacted to the newly launched Transport Department’s AARTO system. Announced on Thursday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the introduction of the AARTO system is geared towards reducing the flouting of traffic laws by motorists.

However, the taxi industry and motorists have their own views.

The AARTO system will be introduced in phases and will culminate with the introduction of the points demerit system which will see motorists losing their driver’s licenses for violating traffic laws.

However, some motorists have slammed this regulation saying it will be more of a money-making scheme for traffic officials than promoting road safety.

Casious Nkuna is one of the motorists.

“We know how corrupt our traffic officers are. So I do not think it’s going to bring any change on our roads. You will find a bus that is coming from Beit Bridge in Hamanskraal and you ask yourself, how did that bus travel all the way on the N1 without being stopped or returned to where it’s coming from. It is only corruption that is going to continue happening. Traffic officials are going to get richer and richer every day.”

This motorist also agrees.

“We live in a very lawless environment. Where people would not even care if their licenses are suspended or not. As we speak we have many people who are driving without licenses. So it wouldn’t even matter to them. In my opinion, I think traffic authorities should focus more on police visibility and current laws that we have.”

The AARTO Amendment Act was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 and it introduced a process to administer traffic offences. It was first piloted in the Cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg in 2008 and now it’s being rolled out nationally. But it will be done in phases and will culminate with the points demerit system.

Santaco spokesperson, Thabiso Molelekwa, says it will engage with government about their concerns.

“Our instruments of governance need to recognise the unique nature of the sector. We will engage with the minister of transport to present the plight of the industry on these issues.”

The National Taxi Alliance’s, Theo Malele, says it’s not in support of the system.

“This promulgation should not be supported by the taxi industry. The issues that we want clarity on are in relation to moving violations. If a driver gets hired by us we need to vet those drivers and we do not have such facilities. And it may happen that you already hire a driver who already has demerit points.”

The transport department says an independent Appeals Tribunal will also be introduced to enable those who want to appeal against the rulings of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

New demerit points system to effect on 1st July: Layton Beard

[embedded content]

Source: SABC News (