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New traffic laws: Cape Town mulls legal bid to stop AARTO rollout

The AARTO Bill will bring in new fines, punishments, and penalty points for all drivers – but the City of Cape Town is looking for an exemption.


Photo: AdobeStock

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill is set to take effect in South Africa next month. The new system will hit drivers with ‘demerit points’, and increases the range of offences you can be punished for. However, the City of Cape Town isn’t convinced that these new guidelines are fit for purpose.

City of Cape Town question AARTO offences

Officials are now looking to launch a legal challenge against the AARTO rollout out, just weeks before it’s due to get underway. Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, has raised concerns about the heightened powers this will give traffic officers – and their law enforcement colleagues.

As Smith sees it, a blanket rollout of AARTO is ‘flawed’. That’s because Gauteng’s road fatality rate is much higher than that of the Western Cape’s, and slapping everyone with the same restrictions could invalidate the Bill’s intentions.

“The City is considering its options to challenge the implementation of AARTO specifically with regard to its functionality. We believe it is ineffective in reducing road fatalities. The other objection would be related to the powers of law enforcement where AARTO legislation appears to conflict with local government mandate for traffic and parking.”

“When we look at the numbers, Gauteng generally has double the number of fatal crashes whereas in the Western Cape, fatal crashes appear to be decreasing. In addition, AARTO should include all aspects of unsafe driving, instead of focusing on those infringements, which are already covered by traffic law enforcement.”

AARTO Bill: Full list of offences, fines, and demerit points

Driving an unregistered vehicleR500 fine, one point
Driving an unlicensed vehicleR500 fine, one point
Driving when license plate isn’t visibleR500 fine, one point
Driving without a licenseR1 250 fine, four points
Not wearing a seatbelt while drivingR250 fine, no points
Drunk drivingNo fine set, six points
Driving while using a cell phoneR500 fine, one point


Skipping a stop sign (cars)R500 fine, one point
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks)R750 fine, two points
Running a red light (cars)R500 fine, one point
Running a red light (buses, trucks)R750 fine, two points
Failure to let a pedestrian crossR500 fine, one point


Doing 81 – 99km/h in a 60 zoneR750 fine, two points
Doing 100km/h+ in a 60 zoneNo fine set, six points
Doing 106 – 119km/h in an 80 zoneR1 000 fine, three points
Doing 120km/h+ in an 80 zoneNo fine set, six points
Doing 121 – 130km/h in a 100 zoneR750 fine, two points
Doing 131 – 139km/h in a 100 zoneR1 250 fine, four points
Doing 140km/h+ in a 100 zoneNo fine set, six points
Doing 131 – 140km/h in a 120 zoneR250 fine, no points
Doing 141 – 150km/h in a 120 zoneR750 fine, two points
Doing 151 – 159km/h in a 120 zoneR1 250 fine, four points
Doing 160km/h+ in 120 zoneNo fine set, six points
Overtaking on a solid line (cars)R500 fine, one point
Overtaking on a solid line (buses, trucks)R750 fine, two points