Serious doubts have been cast about the effectiveness and efficiency of the systems and processes that support the Administrative Adjudication of Traffic Violations Act (Aarto) by the experiences of a Pretoria motorist.
The Aarto Law was implemented on July 1, but the demerit point system and the law’s driver rehabilitation programs will only be introduced as of July 1 of next year.
A Pretoria motorist, who did not want to be named, said a Tshwane Metro traffic officer issued him a traffic ticket for failing to stop at a stop street.
The woman said the back of Aarto’s violation notice lists a number of different options motorists have to pay the fine, including paying at post offices, some supermarket chains such as Checkers, Shoprite and Spar, and through the use of the online platforms of FNB, Standard. Bank, Absa, Nedbank or payCity.
He said he tried unsuccessfully to pay the fine on several occasions using the online platforms Absa, PayFine and payCity.
The woman said she was unable to pay the fine using these online platforms because they indicated that they were unable to collect the reference number from the violation notice.
He then went to two different post office branches on five different occasions in an attempt to pay the fine, but the counter officer told him each time that the traffic ticket payment system was offline.
Desperate, she went to three different Spar stores in Pretoria’s eastern suburbs and the Shoprite Checkers store in Brooklyn Mall, but was informed by staff that they had no facilities that would allow shoppers to pay traffic tickets.
The woman said Aarto’s notice of violation does not state that traffic fines can only be paid at some Spar, Checkers and Shoprite stores.
“I am trying to be a law abiding citizen, but it has been impossible to pay the fine.
“Now I lost the discount because the fine was not paid within the specified time period within which the discount is available,” he said.
“If Aarto’s demerit system were in place, he would have received two demerit points for the traffic violation plus an additional demerit point for not paying the fine on time.”
Christine Wu, Managing Executive Customer Value Management at Absa Retail and Business Bank, said that as a digitally led organization that aims to serve an ever-evolving customer base, Absa customers can conveniently pay their traffic fines in line to a variety of municipalities. In South Africa.
Wu said payments can easily be made in the “pay traffic fines” section of Absa Online, adding that customers simply need their traffic ticket reference number to expedite payment.
“While it is difficult to comment on the details of this particular matter without the actual details, we can confirm that there has been no downtime regarding Absa Online traffic payments,” he said.
Response of the Traffic Infractions Agency
Monde Mkalipi, a spokesperson for the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), said the RTIA system had not experienced any downtime or been offline in the time period when the woman tried to pay the fine.
However, Mkalipi said that parts of the country are experiencing load shedding, so some of the driver’s license testing centers are experiencing outages affecting their connection to eNaTIS (the National Administration’s electronic traffic information system). .
“If NaTIS is offline, no payments can be made on any of the online platforms attached to third-party platforms,” he said.
A spokesperson for Spar said that as of March 31, 815 of its 992 stores had facilities that allowed motorists to pay their traffic tickets.
The spokesperson agreed that Aarto’s infringement notice could be misleading because some Spar stores do not offer this service.
“We will contact Aarto and ask them to modify their infringement notices so that the ‘selected’ Spar stores are read. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, ”he said.
A Shoprite spokesperson said that more than 1,100 Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores in South Africa can process traffic violation payments for ads that state EasyPay, PAY @ or have the Shoprite or Checkers logo printed on the back of the notice.
The spokesperson said that once the payment has been processed, the customer’s receipt will also include a payment reference number should it be required in the future.
Shoprite asked the driver for more details to allow him to investigate this customer’s experience at the particular store.
Subsequently, a store manager at Checkers in Brooklyn Mall called Moneyweb and confirmed that traffic tickets can be paid at the store, but that some employees were not aware of this facility.
The manager apologized for any inconvenience caused to the motorist.
Mkalipi emphasized that the RTIA does not issue or capture traffic tickets.
“The issuing authorities, the municipalities, must capture the fines they impose on motorists. The RTIA only enters once the fine has been captured in the eNaTIS system, ”he said.
Mkalipi said the RTIA helps motorists manage and resolve their traffic tickets.
He said that motorists have elective options under the Aarto Law, which are:
Make a representation to dispute a traffic violation;
Nominate a new driver;
Request the revocation of an execution order;
Organize the payment of infringements in installments; or
Choose to be tried in court.
Mkalipi added that in such cases, the motorist can request representation to enjoy the 50% discount contemplated by the Aarto Law because the fine is not being captured by the issuing authority.
Help is at hand …
“If the RTIA can have a copy of the violation, it will be in a position to help the violator,” he said.
Mkalipi recommended that motorists register and check the fines in www.aarto.gov.za, which will also allow them to control the assignment of new infringement notifications to their profile.
Mkalipi said that if a notice issued in person along the roadside has not been included in the National Register of Contraventions, the offender should “contact the appropriate issuing authority with a request to capture the notice of violation in question”.
Moneyweb suggested that it was unfair to expect motorists to try to force an issuing authority to do its job and that this could interfere with the rights of road users.
Mkalipi said the RTIA would appreciate receiving details from the issuing authority so that it can follow up on this complaint.
“The RTIA will definitely contact the issuing authority to establish the cause of the problem. We will also invest more time to help drivers benefit from the rights and options contained in the Aarto Law. It should be remembered that the role of the RTIA is to be an independent arbiter between the road user and the issuing authority ”.
Mkalipi added that no motorist will incur demerit points if due process of law has not been followed.
“In situations where road users are aggrieved by the results of the RTIA adjudication process, the motorist has the right to raise [their] presentation of representation before the Court of Appeals of Aarto ”, he said. “The rights of the motorist remain protected.”