A ruling at the Pretoria High Court on Monday 13th of January 2022 found: ‘It is therefore declared that the AARTO Act and the Amendment Acts are unconstitutional and invalid’. This comes after OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) challenged the constitutional validity of the AARTO Act (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences).
According to the High Court, ‘the act prevents local and provincial governments from regulating their own affairs. Consequently, AARTO can no longer proceed on the projected timeline. Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport, stated that the judgment will be studied – a decision made whether to appeal or not.
According to informed opinion this may leave many companies questioning where they stand in terms of preparation for the Act. AARTO will not become a reality within the original timeline. Many years and money were invested in developing the Act and it is improbable that it will simply be scrapped because of the loss that this would cause.
Businesses may ask is whether preparation for the possible implementation is necessary. Says Eugene Herbert, CEO of Masterdrive: “If your company has already made changes, that investment is not lost. It is important to look at it from another perspective. Firstly, penalties and other consequences that currently exist will be dramatically reduced with changed driving behaviour, impacting your bottom line and overall wellbeing.”
Herbert concludes – “The second, is the need for changed driver behaviour irrespective of legislative changes. Companies should not let the existence of a point system rule their driving behaviour. Drivers who respect the rules of the road and are conscious of the dangers is something every company should already strive for. Threats of legislation should not be the only motivation for safe and responsible road use. With this approach, companies will not worry about future implementation.”