December 1, 2019

The following questions will provide clarity on some of the legal terms you will encounter throughout this WiseUp Newsletter.

Question: What is AARTO?

Answer:  > The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (“AARTO”) deals with certain traffic infringements in a non-criminal manner.

> This means that that a person will get notice of the alleged traffic infringement and the fine payable, which will be clearly marked as an AARTO infringement notice.  


Question: Does AARTO apply everywhere in South Africa?

Answer:  > AARTO does not apply throughout the whole of South Africa, but only in certain areas of the Gauteng Province. 

> In areas where AARTO does not apply, the normal traffic offence procedures will be followed under the National Road Traffic Act and the Criminal Procedure Act. This means that traffic offences will be dealt with under the criminal procedures.


Question: Once the demerit system comes into effect, will I still have to pay a fine even if I get the demerit points?

Answer:  > Yes, the demerit points system does not substitute the payment of a fine where it must be paid. 

> The AARTO Act sets out the fines payable for different traffic infringements, together with the relevant demerit points linked to that infringement.

> For example, running a red light or skipping a stop sign will lead to a fine of R500 and one demerit point.

> However, there are procedures in place for a driver to dispute that s/he committed the relevant traffic infringement. For example, a driver can make representations for minor infringements to the relevant authority and a representations officer will attend to the dispute. 


What type of damages can be claimed from the Road Accident Fund? 

> The RAF is a fund that assists with compensating victims of a motor vehicle accident (“accident”) for certain damages suffered.

> A person has a right to claim compensation for damages from the RAF if s/he is a victim of an accident caused by the wrongful driving of another person (“negligent driver”). However, a recent court case made it possible for a claim against the RAF where a person is injured in a single vehicle accident.

> A person that suffers bodily injury or death may claim damages for:

- past and future income and earning capacity;

- past and future traveling expenses to get medical treatment;

- medical and hospital costs;

- the cost of employing an assistant and/or a nurse as a result of  an injury; and

- general damages, for example, an amount for pain, suffering, inconvenience, disfigurement and loss of amenities of life.

> Examples of damage that can be claimed as a result of death are:

- loss of earnings and support; and

- funeral costs.

Did you know…In a motor vehicle accident, the RAF does not pay compensation for damages to the vehicles that were involved in the accident.