‘Aarto will not save lives’


The Automobile Association (AA) says it remains concerned that the controversial Act on the Administrative Authorization of Road Traffic Offenses (Aarto) will not achieve its goals of improved road safety or reducing carnage on the roads.

It follows from a ruling on Wednesday in the Constitutional Court that Aarto is constitutional and valid – and therefore legal.

This overturns a previous ruling by the Pretoria High Court in January 2022 where the system was declared unconstitutional and invalid.

“The ruling paves the way for the Road Traffic Offenses Agency (RTIA) to roll out Aarto nationwide,” says the AA. “Of course we respect the ruling in the Constitutional Court, but we remain concerned that Aarto will not achieve his goals. We maintain that Aarto legislation is aimed at earning an income, and not at ensuring safer roads.”

RNews earlier reported that the pressure group Outa argued that Aarto legislation deprives local and provincial governments of their right to self-regulation.

The AA has previously pointed out that the legislation is impractical. After the Aarto pilot project was launched in Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2008, the shortcomings of the legislation were clearly visible in practice. Attempts to fix the flaws only led to further issues.

“Legislation will not solve the country’s road safety crisis,” says the AA. “It simply creates the impression of action while nothing changes on the ground level – where it is needed. We point out that there is no evidence that the Aarto pilot project saved a single life.”