On Tuesday 9 February 2015 the Road
Traffic infringement Agency put out a media release with the grossly misleading
FINES BLOCK LICENSING BY AUTHORITIES”.
While the content of the release vaguely
clarifies the matter and correctly states that an Enforcement Order will result
in licensing transactions being blocked on eNaTIS, it is important that this not be confused with a “traffic
In terms of Section 20(2) of the
AARTO Act, the Registrar may authorise the issue of an Enforcement Order if he
has satisfied himself that both, an infringement notice and a courtesy letter
have been served on the alleged infringer by the prescribed means. In the case
of an infringement notice this could be service that occurs in person at the
time of the alleged infringement or by registered mail if it is served after
the fact and in the case of a courtesy letter, this must be served by
registered mail. An enforcement order must also be served by registered mail.
The more recent licence renewal notifications
contain a misleading statement which reads as follows:
" Your application for a new Driving
Licence Card or PrDP will not be processed unless all Enforcement Orders have
been settled and all
penalties and courtesy letter fees for outstanding Infringements are settled.
While the first part of the statement
is true, the second part of it is untrue and is used by licensing authorities
to mislead people into believing that they are compelled to settle ALL outstanding infringement notices
including but not limited to the illegal infringement notices the JMPD issued
from 1 June 2010 to 21 December 2012. The findings of the Public
Protector on this issue was that the JMPD violated the provisions of the
AARTO Act and as a result, the improperly served infringement notices were “irregular” and amounted to
Motorists are advised to look closely
at the part of this notification to see if an Enforcement Order has been issued
against their particulars. If it says “Enforcement
Order outstanding: No/Nee” and a licence disc is not
automatically printed, motorists should ask for a R114 eNaTIS statement to
determine whether they have outstanding licensing fees or penalties owing on
other vehicles registered in their name, or a warrant of arrest issued against
them by courts in the jurisdictions outside of the operational areas of the
Johannesburg and Tshwane Metro Police Departments.
authorities have become fond of preying on the ignorance of the average
motorist who does not know and/or understand the legislative provisions that
allow blocking of licensing transactions. They also appear to be of the opinion
that traffic fines are somehow excluded from the presumption of innocence until
guilt is proven which is enshrined in Section 35 of the Constitution.
media release by the RTIA should be viewed as a statement by the RTIA that they
are going to resume following the legislated provisions of the AARTO Act and
nothing more. Motorists who ignore infringement notices issued against their
names are doing themselves no favours and would be better advised to deal with
their traffic fines as quickly as possible when they receive them.
guilt and paying a traffic fine, whether it is issued under the AARTO Act or
the Criminal Procedure Act is ONE of
the options but it is not the only one. Any person has the unalienable right to
be presumed innocent until proven guilty and is fully entitled to mount a
defence against any accusation of violation of any law – including traffic infringements/offences.
RTIA is also tasked with EDUCATING
people about the AARTO Act, but as yet, almost 7 years into the so-called “pilot
phase” of the implementation of the AARTO Act, it has done very little to
educate motorists and this is very sad indeed.
who wishes to educate themselves on the provisions of both, the AARTO Act or
the Criminal Procedure Act is welcome to visit JPSA’s dedicated AARTO website
at www.aarto.co.za. This must not be
confused with the RTIA’s AARTO website is located at www.aarto.gov.za which does not present any
of the abuses that have been perpetrated by authorities operating under the