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Aarto is coming: Motorists urged to get into gear for drivers’ demerit system

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After being debated and condemned for many years, the new drivers’ demerit system is almost here despite despite concerns that the implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) was not to improve road safety.

In February this year, alleged financial maladministration at the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) by top officials came under the spotlight.

This prompted a response from Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) chairperson Howard Dembovsky, who said at the time that the plans to introduce the amended Aarto Act in South Africa on 1 July 2021 would be “reckless”.

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Know what the Aarto Act says

However, this week the Road Safety Partnership (RSP) endorsed the intent of Aarto to improve road safety and urged motorists to start familiarising themselves with the act.

“Considerable preparation is needed from all drivers, whether in their personal capacity or as a driver for a company. The RSP urges drivers to start preparation as soon as possible. This includes familiarising themselves with the act, identifying the behaviours that are repeatedly penalised or which they know they are guilty of and determining what their company’s planned Aarto policy will be.”

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Aarto is coming…

While many may feel some reluctance to accept the implementation of Aarto, it is unlikely it will not happen.

“If motorists are prepared for the act, their concerns should be unfounded. If they take action now and change their own bad driving behaviours, Aarto can only have a limited impact on one, if any impact at all.

“It is habitual non-compliance that will allow Aarto to affect drivers. Critically address any non-compliance, even before the act comes into effect, and it will substantially limit the potential effect that Aarto can have.”

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The RSP urges all drivers to prepare for Aarto.

“Whether the act is implemented as is or addresses recent concerns, if all drivers were to prepare for Aarto, it would have a considerable impact on not only each person but the general state of road safety in South Africa as well,” said the RSP.

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