Motorists cannot be issued arrest warrants for not paying fines

Motorists Source: Google Images

A provision has been removed from the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, which means that motorists cannot be issued with a warrant of arrest for failing to pay their traffic fines.

According to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), the only way for law enforcement to ensure that motorists pay their outstanding fines is through an enforcement letter.

Under the amended AARTO process, a motorist found in contravention of regulations will receive an infringement notice, followed by a courtesy letter to pay the full amount plus an additional administration fee. Finally, an enforcement order will be issued if you fail to comply with the requirements of a courtesy letter.

The enforcement order will be served by registered mail, and the demerit points incurred by you will be automatically allocated. You will also be required to pay the full penalty, plus representation fees and the fee of the courtesy letter, if any, as well as the prescribed fee of the enforcement order within a period of 32 days of the date of service of the order.

RTIA has been accused of ramping up enforcement orders, making it more difficult to obtain a driver’s licence or register a vehicle. EWN reports that several motorists have been scammed out of money by the threat of arrest.

RTIA chairperson Howard Dembovsky said that scammers are printing fake arrest warrants to make the crime appear more convincing. He suspects that this may be part of a crime syndicate.

Dembovsky adds that the AARTO Act does not include warrants of arrest, as those are issued by the courts.

According to RTIA spokesperson Monde Mkalipi, anyone who receives a warrant of arrest is being scammed.

“There is absolutely no possibility of a road user being issued with a warrant of arrest to resolve an Aarto fine. Road users are asked to please contact the RTIA,” Mkalipi told EWN.

The AARTO Amendment Act will commence nationally on July 1, 2021. For more info, visit the AARTO website.