More than 100 000 South Africans have added their voice to a proposal by government that may see the non-payment of etolls being added to a road offences act, according to Outa.
On the 7th December, the Department of Transport gazetted the proposal to amend the the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) to include outstanding etoll payments into the normal traffic fine and violations process.
The proposal states that multiple occurrences of etoll non-payment will be documented onto a single notice and sent to alleged violators via mail, email, or SMS, instead you being notified every time you are cited for the offence.
So effectively, you could be penalised according to the act without even being aware that you have been previously cited a number of times.
The department called for public comment on the amendment and Outa has since last month been hosting an easy-to-use comment submission form which you can use to add your voice to the mix. The deadline for comment is midnight, 6th January.
According to Outa, the entire proposal is flawed for a number of reasons, including the following, among others:
- South African administrative law states that a person must receive adequate notice of the intended action to be taken, including the basis for the action to be taken, and afforded an opportunity to make representations before any punitive measures are taken against them.
- The proposed amendment does not provide proof that an alleged offender’s vehicle was at the scene of the incident noted, in that there is no photograph of their vehicle for each and every infringement listed.
- There is also an absence of a unique reference number per incident, which is required for dispute resolution purposes.
- Flaws in Sanral’s etoll time and date stamp of gantry passes (verified in court in November 2014), as well as in its payment reconciliation process, where payments made are allocated to the oldest outstanding payment first, regardless of the fact that queries may exist against those movements. “These administrative shortcomings of the e-toll scheme will in turn render the entire AARTO infringement notice mechanism as completely unmanageable and therefore useless, notwithstanding that payment of these infringements are forced at time of license renewals or not,” Outa said.
By 12:30pm today, 103 184 people had submitted their comments.
“The more active we are as citizens (in a responsible way), the more hard-pressed the authorities become to force questionable and unworkable regulations into being,” the alliance said.[Source – Outa]