Sports & Motoring

Nationwide AARTO Rollout Set for July 2024

After numerous delays and court battles, the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) will be implemented across South Africa on July 1, 2024. This system aims to improve road safety through a demerit point system.

Following years of delays and legal challenges, the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) is set to roll out nationwide on Monday, July 1, 2024, according to the Department of Transport. This long-awaited implementation follows an initial delay from a proposed start date of February 1, 2024.

Understanding AARTO

The AARTO Act introduces a points-based system designed to improve road safety by penalizing traffic violations with demerit points. Accumulate enough points, and a driver’s license may be suspended or even canceled. This self-policing mechanism has been on trial in Gauteng for several years, but it faced numerous hurdles before receiving the green light from the Constitutional Court last year for a nationwide rollout.

The Challenges and Delays

Despite the ambitious rollout date, the implementation of AARTO has faced significant criticism and practical challenges. Earlier in the year, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) announced an indefinite delay in the phased rollout, casting doubt on the new operational date. The following issues were cited as reasons for the delay:

  • Finalizing AARTO draft regulations
  • Establishing digital infrastructure to link eNATIS with national authorities
  • Training traffic officers for the AARTO system
  • Securing contracts with local governments
  • Setting up AARTO service outlets
  • Conducting legislative workshops
  • Holding community awareness workshops on AARTO benefits

Observers note that little progress seems to have been made in these areas since the last update from the Department of Transport.

How the AARTO System Works

Once operational, dealing with AARTO fines will involve a three-step process:

  1. Issuance of Infringement:
    • An infringement notice can be issued directly to the driver at the scene or attached to the vehicle. For camera-recorded violations, the notice will be emailed to the registered vehicle owner.
    • The notice will include an admission of guilt fine, usually at a discounted rate of 50%, along with the number of demerit points incurred.
  2. Response Within 32 Days:
    • Pay the Fine: Pay the fine at the discounted rate, and demerit points will still apply.
    • Installment Payments: Opt to pay in installments, forfeiting the discount. Demerit points still apply.
    • Appeal: Submit a written appeal contesting the violation or refuting liability.
  3. Nomination of Another Driver:
    • If you are a juristic person (vehicle owner/operator) and not the driver at the time of the offense, you may nominate the actual driver to take responsibility for the fine.

Consequences of Non-Response

If the infringer does not respond within 32 days, a courtesy letter will be issued, considered received 10 days after sending. The subsequent steps are as follows:

  • Within 64 Days: You are liable for the full fine plus a R200 late fee. Demerit points still apply.
  • Beyond 64 Days: An enforcement order will be issued, blocking the infringer from conducting any license transactions on the eNATIS system, including driver’s license, PrDP, or vehicle license renewals. The infringer then has 32 days to pay the full fine plus a R300 penalty fee to have the enforcement order lifted.
  • Serious Offences: For violations severe enough to be considered criminal offenses, prosecution will proceed under the Criminal Procedure Act.


While the nationwide rollout of AARTO is slated for July 1, 2024, the substantial logistical and administrative challenges that remain could impede this timeline. Motorists and stakeholders remain skeptical but hopeful that the new system will enhance road safety and compliance with traffic laws across South Africa.

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