Upcoming implementation of AARTO raises concerns over enforcement and demerit Points

The Minister of Transport has confirmed the scheduled implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act and its amendment act (AARTO) in July 2024. This amendment transforms the old default system of judicial enforcement, governed by criminal law, into a compulsory system of administrative enforcement through tribunals, fines, and a demerit points system.

However, there is growing concern among many that the Department of Transport may lack the capability to effectively administer the comprehensive requirements of AARTO. Additionally, there is ambiguity in the legislation regarding the differentiation between the driver (infringer) and the owner of the vehicle concerning the allocation of “demerit points.” This raises the potential implication that a hospitality business owner, who is the registered owner of a vehicle, could be burdened with all the demerits accumulated by the drivers within the business.

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