High Court declares entire Aarto Act unconstitutional

High Court declares entire Aarto Act unconstitutional

The High Court in Pretoria has declared both the Administration Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) and its amendment act unconditional

JMPD ticket
Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile

The court ruling means the implementation of Aarto, including the driving licence points demerit system, will have to be halted.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) lodged an application in the High Court in Pretoria in July 2020 to declare both acts unconstitutional.

In Outa's submission, the organisation pointed out that the act infringers on provisions made parts A and B of the Constitution's schedule for local and provincial government to regulate traffic infringements.

The amendment introduces a compulsory system of administrative enforcement of traffic laws through tribunals, fines and a demerit points system. 

But it believes the Constitution empowered municipalities to deal with the matters. 

Judge Annali Basson said she was not convinced the problem can be solved by merely removing the parts of the act that are unconstitutional.

"Once the provisions relating to provincial roads or provincial traffic law infringements or any other provisions relating to municipal road, traffic, or parking-bylaw infringements are removed, what would remain would not be able to give effect to the main objective of the statute, which is to create a single, national system of administrative enforcement of road traffic laws,” she said.

Outa’s Stefani Fick welcomed the judgment, saying the acts are not about road safety but focus on collecting revenue. 

"We are happy the court has taken the government back to the drawing costs, will monitor the process and ensure any other amendment is in line with the Constitution," she said.


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