AA claims that, despite ConCourt confirmation, AARTO will not save lives

Aarto will not be saving lives, says Automobile Association of South Africa. PHOTO: OUTA

The Constitutional Court has made a significant ruling regarding the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto), overturning the previous judgment by the Pretoria High Court in January 2022. The Automobile Association (AA) acknowledges this decision and notes that it deems Aarto to be constitutional. Consequently, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) can now proceed with the nationwide implementation of Aarto.

This verdict follows a successful challenge in late 2022 by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which argued that Aarto legislation deprived local and provincial governments of their self-regulatory powers. Outa had sought confirmation of the earlier High Court ruling from the Constitutional Court, but the court dismissed this finding and unanimously upheld the constitutionality and validity of the Aarto law.

“While we naturally respect the Constitutional Court’s decision, we remain concerned that Aarto will not deliver on its intended outcomes of improving road safety and reducing road carnage on our roads. We stand by our previous views that the Aarto legislation is geared towards revenue collection and not on promoting safer roads,” the AA says.

In its submissions regarding the Aarto legislation, the AA has highlighted its “cumbersome and impractical nature”. Furthermore, the Association has previously pointed out that the shortcomings of the Act became evident during the Aarto pilot project conducted in Johannesburg and Tshwane Metros after its launch in 2008. Attempts to address these deficiencies only led to further issues.

“Introducing legislation will not solve the country’s road safety crisis. This merely creates an impression of action while noting will change on the ground where it is needed. As part of our contention, we point to the fact that there is no evidence that the Aarto pilot project saved a single life,” the AA concludes.


Compiled by Warren Hawkins