SAVRALA, The Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, representing approximately 450,000 vehicles nationally, welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Logan Maistry (spokesperson for the Department of Transport) about a delay of the planned roll-out of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) on April 01.
SAVRALA hopes that the Department of Transport will now return to a process of constructive and participative engagement at the Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), to discuss many of the key concerns around AARTO which were left unanswered during the meetings last year.
Amongst the many issues raised, was the need for government to make public the results of the AARTO pilot study so that all stakeholders can become aware of the lessons learnt and will be able to contribute to any proposed regulation changes in the future. Some of the key lessons learnt from the e-Tolling process to date are that it is difficult for stakeholders to give productive input into a process when information is withheld by the Department of Transport.
As the central focus of AARTO is to change driver behavior, SAVRALA would like to see the current schedule of offences (over three thousand) get reduced to focus on the critical infringements that contribute to the current unacceptable level of death on our roads. SAVRALA believes a simplified schedule of key offences would assist both consistent enforcement by the authorities and provide better understanding to the public road user.
In addition, several of the key AARTO administrative processes could also be simplified to make the system more reliable, efficient and less expensive to implement, this however will require an open mind from the authorities when AARTO discussions once again commence with stakeholders.
SAVRALA is in the process of setting up workshops with all relevant stakeholders to identify ways of achieving safer roads and looks forward to the Department of Transport’s participation in this regard.