The department of transport will appeal a high court ruling that last week declared the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offence (Aarto) Act unconstitutional and invalid.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that the act is “the final piece of the puzzle in the implementation of a new road traffic management system”.
“This is anchored on a policy framework that is rooted in law and reinforced by a social pact with the motoring public and organs of civil society to change behaviour on our roads,” he said.
“Our arsenal of interventions aimed at delivering a reduction of 25% of fatalities on our roads includes policy and legislative interventions.”
Mbalula said maintaining national norms and standards is “necessary to ensure effective performance by municipalities of their executive authority”.
He said a fragmented system that fails to recognise the importance of a system grounded on national norms and standards in order to maximise its effectiveness will only result in chaos and serve as a perverse incentive for unlawful behaviour.
“This principle is evident in all our laws that regulate road traffic matter in the country, with the primary legislation regulating road traffic being the National Road Traffic Act of 1996,” he said.
This law, he said, was further bolstered by the Road Traffic Management Act of 1998, which established an institutional arrangement that recognises the executive authority of provinces and municipalities.
The Aarto Act is meant to provide an adjudication system for infringements of the rules of the road determined by the National Road Traffic Act. The importance of Aarto in driving behaviour change among motorists and providing disincentives for unbecoming conduct could not be overemphasised, Mbalula said.