Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport has announced it’s re-opened the somewhat controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Bill for public debate.
According to the drafted documents, the Bill was last published for public comment in Government Gazette No 36613 of 28 June 2013, but since then nothing has happened.
AARTO: Return Of The Bill
Two years later however, a notification of the intention to introduce the AARTO Amendment Bill 2015 into Parliament was published and on 30 November 2015 the AARTO Amendment Bill 2015 itself was published.
The Justice Project of South Africa says that now that the Bill has been reopened for comment, it will be making a “comprehensive submission thereon”. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the JPSA was one of the most vocal commentators – along with Outa – on the AARTO Act.
The Committee on Transport’s chairperson‚ Dikeledi Magadzi, said the deadline has been extended to the end of this month in order to make sure the public is consulted and heard.
“The Committee should avoid a situation where people are not given adequate opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation. Parliament is an institution of the people and people should be allowed to influence legislation making,” she said.
She didn’t however explain why it has been made available for public comment again, after already going through the process three years ago.
According to the Committee, the Amendment Bill proposes, among other things, that the electronic delivery of official notices including fines be rolled out nationally in the next financial year. It also proposes to provide for the apportionment of penalties, and the need for an infringement tribunal that will deal with offences.
AARTO: Round Two
In conclusion, JPSA said that its proposals will be made available online after it has submitted them.
“Our submission will primarily be made on behalf of our members but it is unavoidable that it will also largely represent the interests of the wider motoring public at large since we cannot imagine that many other motorists would have dramatically materially different interests to our members,” it said.
The JPSA says it has applied to address the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport to voice its concerns on the Bill, but hasn’t heard anything back.
If you want to voice your concerns or have any suggestions, submissions can be made via Committee Secretary Valerie Carelse on [email protected] or 021 403 3272.
[Image – CC by 2.o/Axel Bührmann]