• Suspected financial maladministration has put a damper on AARTO's implementation.
• The Road Safety Project asks for the system's implementation to be postponed.
• RSP says road safety is not a priority as financial gain takes preference.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
The implementation of AARTO (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) is facing another hurdle with the start of a forensic investigation into the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and senior employees' suspension. It is believed the suspensions are related to financial maladministration.
The Road Safety Project (RSP) notes the concerns raised with disappointment.
It says: "Similar points systems overseas have proven to be one of the most effective means to increase road safety. Unfortunately, the investigation into RTIA reveals that AARTO appears to be more concerned with the financial benefit of traffic penalties rather than improving road safety. As a result of these findings, public buy-in and support are likely to be seriously impacted.
"This is in a climate where the public was already sceptical of the system before any maladministration was found. Until a resolution to the concerns is found, the planned implementation of AARTO on 1 July will need to be delayed."
The RSP urges the Department of Transport to realign the objectives to increase road safety.
It concludes: "Instead of the good that could be realised, the regulation is now mired in controversy. Fortunately, the findings have been made early and provide the Department with ample opportunity to realign proceedings to rectify any concerns or potential maladministration and instead prioritise road safety.
"The RSP urges the Department to act swiftly and decisively so that the focus of AARTO returns to increasing road safety rather than profits. Let this not be an irreparable blow to the potential that AARTO could have in reducing the number of lives lost on South African roads."