If the new traffic laws for South Africa are implemented next year, the injustice it will cause will be very frightening.
According to Howard Dembovsky, head of Justice Project South Africa, the new regulations reveal the blatant commercialisation of traffic fines.
“From the enormous increases in the fines and the administrative fees payable to numerous new obstacles which are to be put in the way of a motorist who wishes to prove his or her innocence; these draft regulations make it clear that money and not justice or road safety is the primary focus of the AARTO Act” Demobovsky said.
The AA has stated that it stands by its assertion that the AARTO Act makes a mockery of the claim that the law is intended to improve road safety in South Africa. The main concern to the AA is an issue first raised in October last year – the R100 Infringement Penalty Levy (IPL) charged in addition to the fine amount on every infringement notice issued.
“This is a disproportionate, sweeping and unjust draft regulation and is similar to having someone pay a fee to submit their tax returns; it’s an ultimately unfair surcharge for a function that is already paid for through traffic fine revenue” the AA said.
People’s rights are on the line with the draft regulations, and unless the public raises its concerns, the regulation will become law and these rights will be infringed.
“We urged the Department of Transport to remove it – it is neither just nor necessary and is, in our view, and example of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, which administers AARTO, encroaching on the National Treasury’s fiscal territory”
The AA said that there are provisions in the draft regulations which is sound, like those relating to driving in emergency lanes, but there is much which requires revision and reworking.
The Department of Transport must feel the pressure from the public to put road safety ahead of revenue collection.