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New Aarto law to send fines via Whatsapp, email or SMS

A civil rights group and the Automobile Association (AA) have raised concerns with some of the draft regulations for the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

The regulations were gazetted earlier this month by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and are out for public comment until December 1.

Concerns were raised regarding a R100 infringement levy and the use of electronic service options which could include WhatsApp, email or SMS.

It is said that if the process of sending notices of traffic infringements was affected using an electronic service, the system could be open to abuse. Infringers might not always provide correct information, which could defeat the object of the electronic service.

The regulations still allowed for traditional forms of service such as by post and personal service in cases where the reservice of documents or infringement notices was required. The Aarto Act made provision for forms called Aarto 01 and Aarto 02, which were the infringement notices to be served by electronic means.

Regulation 29 provided that personal service was achieved at the roadside, when any document such as Aarto 01 or Aarto 02 was served on a person who committed an infringement.

“The infringer would be required to insert his particulars as well as mediums through which electronic service may be effected, such as his email address and cell number, which details the infringer must confirm to be correct.” Said Suhail Ebrahim, candidate commercial and corporate law attorney.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said it strongly disagreed with notices being served by means other than registered post.

It is believed that the Arto Act as well as the Aarto Amendment Act would be the most effective way to curb road fatalities and to promote road safety.

A Constitutional Court challenge against the acts, asking it to declare both unconstitutional.

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