[May 2013..Dec 2013] The Gauteng E-tolling Thread

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LazyLion

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The imminent collapse and inability of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) to collect fines from errant motorists could see the collapse of the e-tolling system even before it starts.

The Star yesterday revealed how Aarto is imploding because, among others, the Roads Traffic Infringement Agency has failed to issue even one courtesy or reminder letter to some 1.4 million motorists within 32 days of the fine since December 22, rendering all these fines invalid.

And, added to that is the fact that the Gauteng toll road passes through two municipalities – Joburg, which issues fines in terms of the Aarto Act, and Ekurhuleni, which still uses the old criminal justice process for fines.

Only two areas in South Africa – Joburg and Pretoria – operate on the Aarto system as pilot projects. The system will be rolled out nationwide when problems are ironed out, but this could take years, given the large number of problems.

LEGISLATION FULL OF HOLES

According to road traffic specialist Rob Handfield-Jones, there is no clear indication in the current e-tolls legislation as to who will collect the fines, and how.

“The legislation is incomplete on this, and no ruling has been made. It has not been clarified how the e-toll fine system will work while operating two different fine systems. Aarto is not yet ready to be rolled out nationally, by a long way, and the criminal procedure system, which is used along parts of the R21 and R24 in Ekurhuleni, is cumbersome and onerous,” he said.

In terms of calculations done by roads agency Sanral, it is estimated there will be a 7 percent non-compliance by motorists of payment for tolls.

This means that some 140 000 fines a day will have to be issued daily for non-payment, which will cause a court overload in Ekurhuleni.

“And that non-compliance figure, I believe, is grossly conservative. I believe non-compliance will be more around the 60 percent mark,” according to Handfield-Jones.

He said the imminent collapse of Aarto would make the collection of fines on toll roads “dead in the water”.

CONCOURT CHALLENGES

Over and above that, motorists would have the right to lodge complaints about the unfairness of being fined in different ways for the same offence, and this could open up a Constitutional Court challenge as the criminal procedure method will allow for the arrest of motorists, while the Aarto system does not.

Gary Ronald, public affairs head of the Automobile Association, also said there was no clarity in the current legislation.

“There is a clash between Aarto, which is an administrative procedure, and the criminal justice system.

“Using two prosecution methods along the same route could lead to an inconsistency, which will open Sanral up to legal challenges,” he said.

Speaking on the collapse of Aarto in general, Ronald said the AA would call for the scrapping of the act.

“It has proved to be unworkable, and has not yielded any positive results in driver behaviour or road safety. We believe the points demerit system would have worked, but the way the system has been implemented… it is too late to fix and should be scrapped.

“When motorists get caught, they simply pay bribes with few chances of any consequences for either the motorist or the traffic officer. Now that the fines are not payable because of the recent Roads Traffic Infringement Agency fiasco, things are going to be even worse. Drivers will do what they want without any consequences,” he said.

Source: The Star
http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/indus...dium=facebook&utm_source=dlvr.it#.UZxtnZzpx8E
 
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AstroTurf

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LOL, most of the points in the article have been discussed here plenty :)
 

LazyLion

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LOL, most of the points in the article have been discussed here plenty :)

Except the bit about them failing to properly issue fines since December 2012... which is proof that the system is failing.
That piece of news only came to light yesterday.
 

RaptorSA

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Hahaha!! Wonderful.
Saved by incompetence.
I've been saying this since day one. I don't even touch any traffic fines I get with a stick these days, and here's exactly why.
 

Albereth

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Except the bit about them failing to properly issue fines since December 2012... which is proof that the system is failing.
That piece of news only came to light yesterday.

The problem with the proper issuing of fines has been going on a lot longer than December. Fines may only be issued by registered mail. Joburg plods were sending them by ordinary post. Joburg then started sending them via registered mail but the postal strike meant that they sat in the post office. Joburg didn't send the courtesy letters (which also have to be by registered mail).

Problem was that many people had paid even though the fines were invalid and good luck trying to get money back.

eTolls and AARTO will collapse under the administrative burden.
 

Electron1

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Did anyone hear the discussion with Wayne Minnaar of Joburg Metro and a lawyer on Highveld this morning? I arrived at work as they mentioned they would be speaking to them, didn't get to hear it.

Was there anything mentioned worth knowing?
 

LazyLion

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The problem with the proper issuing of fines has been going on a lot longer than December. Fines may only be issued by registered mail. Joburg plods were sending them by ordinary post. Joburg then started sending them via registered mail but the postal strike meant that they sat in the post office. Joburg didn't send the courtesy letters (which also have to be by registered mail).

Problem was that many people had paid even though the fines were invalid and good luck trying to get money back.

eTolls and AARTO will collapse under the administrative burden.

You and I both know that, it's fairly common knowledge, but this article is using the current bad situation to educate the public about the flaws in the system and why it should be rejected. I think that is a good reason to re-post this article.

See here for yesterday's article about the AARTO system failure...
http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/fine-news-for-joburg-drivers-1.1518932#.UZx52Zzpx8E
 

LazyLion

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Fine News for Joburg Motorists

Johannesburg - Joburg motorists won’t be prosecuted for any offence since December 22, and every fine issued since then can be torn up and thrown into the waste-paper bin.

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) told The Star that it had suspended the posting of all courtesy letters asking for payment.

In terms of legislation, the RTIA has to send these letters, by registered mail, as reminders that the fine has not been paid and informing motorists that they have lost their 50 percent discount, and have another 32 days to pay.

If the fine is still not paid, the RTIA should send out a notice of enforcement order – also by registered mail – informing the motorist that this failure to pay will be registered on the eNatis system against the driver’s identity number, and he or she will not be able to do any transactions with any vehicle until the infringement notice is paid.

This should also be the start of the process of issuing a warrant of execution against the motorist’s movable property to recover the money once the National Contravention Register has been fully developed.

But the RTIA has not sent one courtesy letter since January, meaning that no further action can be taken against the motorist.

And now that the agency has admitted it is not sending these courtesy letters, it means that not only are some 4 500 traffic officers wasting their time every day speed-checking and stopping motorists for other offences, but the City of Joburg is wasting R7.5 million a month in sending fines by registered mail which are seldom collected.

The JMPD, for 18 months before December 22, was sending fines by ordinary mail. Then, after complaints from the Road Traffic Management Corporation and motorists saying this was illegal, it was forced to start sending fines by registered mail at a cost of R20 each, as a direct result of the intervention of the transport minister.

Some 450 000 fines are sent by registered mail monthly, at a cost of R7.5m. But since January only 10 percent of motorists have paid fines. So since December 22, when the JMPD resumed registered mail, about 1.48 million fines have been sent fruitlessly, costing about R30m.

The RTIA would have to spend the same amount to send the courtesy letters, and again to send the enforcement order letters.

The RTIA said it had experienced challenges at great expense, as courtesy letters must be sent to infringers by registered post.

Some of the challenges include the recent strikes at the South African Post Office.

“In the event that courtesy letters are sent and not collected due to strike action at the Post Office, an enforcement order is authorised, resulting in all eNatis transactions being blocked – such as the renewal of driving licence cards, motor vehicle licence discs and professional driving permits – causing the infringer unnecessary economic harm – especially fleet owner vehicles – and inconvenience.

“These challenges have resulted in the Road Traffic Infringement Agency taking a decision to suspend the issuing of courtesy letters to an infringer until such time that the SA Post Office has given confirmation of an improved delivery of courtesy letters and service levels,” said RTIA spokesman Mthunzi Mbungwana.

A further shock is that eNatis is unable to issue warrants of arrest if motorists fail to appear in court, as the software is not yet functional.

It does not have the software development to upload the outcome of the case onto the National Contravention Register.

Another problem that shows how the Aarto (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) system is imploding: in cases where motorists have to appear in court for major offences, such as speed in excess of 40km/h of the speed limit, eNatis can issue only the initials, not the full names, of offenders.

The courts will not accept this as they demand full names, and are thus striking hundreds of cases off the eNatis court roll daily.

This applies to the Tshwane metro police department as well as the Gauteng Provincial Police Department, where the Aarto system is being implemented.

JMPD acting chief of police Gerrie Gerneke said they were negotiating a solution with the RTIA.

FINANCE CHAOS

* There are no service-level agreements between the various municipalities, the RTIA and the SA Post Office, and since 2008 there has been no distribution, reconciliation or transfer of fine income.

* All money paid by motorists in fines to the Post Office, and to other cities’ metro police or licensing departments, where there is an eNatis payment terminal, is lying in that local municipality’s coffers. It is believed that there is R10m of traffic fine income belonging to the cities of Joburg and Tshwane in these sundry accounts.

* Money paid at the Post Office goes to the RTIA, with Joburg and Tshwane not having seen reconciliation of any of this money in more than five years.

* Similarly, the money collected by Joburg and Tshwane is not paid over to those it is due because there is no accounting or reconciliation system in place between the traffic and issuing authorities.

anna.cox@inl.co.za

The Star
http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/fine-news-for-joburg-drivers-1.1518932#.UZx52Zzpx8E
 

daveza

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Aarto woes could stifle e-tolling

http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/aarto-woes-could-stifle-e-tolling-1.1519653#.UZyC47XYJ8E


The imminent collapse and inability of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) to collect fines from errant motorists could see the collapse of the e-tolling system even before it starts.

The Star yesterday revealed how Aarto is imploding because, among others, the Roads Traffic Infringement Agency has failed to issue even one courtesy or reminder letter to some 1.4 million motorists within 32 days of the fine since December 22, rendering all these fines invalid.

And, added to that is the fact that the Gauteng toll road passes through two municipalities – Joburg, which issues fines in terms of the Aarto Act, and Ekurhuleni, which still uses the old criminal justice process for fines.

Only two areas in South Africa – Joburg and Pretoria – operate on the Aarto system as pilot projects. The system will be rolled out nationwide when problems are ironed out, but this could take years, given the large number of problems.

LEGISLATION FULL OF HOLES

According to road traffic specialist Rob Handfield-Jones, there is no clear indication in the current e-tolls legislation as to who will collect the fines, and how.

“The legislation is incomplete on this, and no ruling has been made. It has not been clarified how the e-toll fine system will work while operating two different fine systems. Aarto is not yet ready to be rolled out nationally, by a long way, and the criminal procedure system, which is used along parts of the R21 and R24 in Ekurhuleni, is cumbersome and onerous,” he said.

In terms of calculations done by roads agency Sanral, it is estimated there will be a 7 percent non-compliance by motorists of payment for tolls.

This means that some 140 000 fines a day will have to be issued daily for non-payment, which will cause a court overload in Ekurhuleni.

“And that non-compliance figure, I believe, is grossly conservative. I believe non-compliance will be more around the 60 percent mark,” according to Handfield-Jones.

He said the imminent collapse of Aarto would make the collection of fines on toll roads “dead in the water”.

CONCOURT CHALLENGES

Over and above that, motorists would have the right to lodge complaints about the unfairness of being fined in different ways for the same offence, and this could open up a Constitutional Court challenge as the criminal procedure method will allow for the arrest of motorists, while the Aarto system does not.

7 % non-compliance - that is serious bs even on the Sanral scale.

So, 60% non-compliance would result in over one million fines PER DAY !
 

LazyLion

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COSATU to elaborate on E-Toll Protests

The Congress of SA Trade Unions will brief the media on Wednesday about its protest against the e-tolls system.

Last week Cosatu vowed it would shut down Gauteng's highways later this month to protest against e-tolling and labour brokers.

This was after the union federation held discussions with both the Gauteng and national governments in an attempt to persuade them to take action on these points.

Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said these discussions had not yet yielded any positive outcomes.

Two protests have been planned. The first march on May 24 in Johannesburg would affect the M1, N1, N12, and M2. The second would be held in Ekurhuleni on May 31, affecting the N3, N12, and R21.

`"Our intention is to shut down the freeways on these dates and that's what we are prepared to do," Dakile said.

He said that in previous marches on the highways some lanes were left open for cars to pass, but this would not be the case during the upcoming marches.

"Our intention is to have a total shutdown."

Cosatu has also signalled its intention to stage various protest actions in June, including a possible night vigil at the SA National Roads Agency Limited's office.


Source : Sapa /mjs/ks/mm
Date : 22 May 2013 02:04
 

b_crazy

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So everybody should travel at <speed limit> + 15kph in trapped zones between now and December to completely shut down the system?
 

LazyLion

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Wonder if that fuel levy is starting to look good to SANRAL yet.

Dude, I can guarantee you that you have already been paying for the tolls through your fuel levy.
They just haven't announced it publicly yet. ;)
 

OGroteKoning

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Dude, I can guarantee you that you have already been paying for the tolls through your fuel levy.
They just haven't announced it publicly yet. ;)

I agree with this. But if e-tolling should go ahead, I am willing to bet a year's salary that they won't reduce the levy
 

LazyLion

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COSATU Toll Fight gets wide support

Cosatu will be joined by at least 10 civil society bodies and some religious leaders in a series of protests in the next few weeks against the e-tolling of Gauteng highways.

The SA Council of Churches and the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) would lend their active support, Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We will be embarking upon a series of protests and demonstrations... to highlight to the state and to government that this system is unacceptable."

He said Cosatu and its partners would embark on a go-slow drive, and a march to bring the province's highways to a standstill.

The first protest would be in Johannesburg on May 24 and the second in Ekurhuleni on May 31, with a final provincial "stay-away" and march on June 10.

Cosatu would also be joined by the Congress of SA Students; the SA Students Congress; the SA National Civic Organisation; the United Association of Taxis Forum; the Treatment Action Campaign; the National Association of National School Governing Bodies; the National Taxi Forum; and Bikers Against E-tolls.

Dakile said prayer services would be held across the province in the coming weeks.

"The church is quite clear, and it is our view that even if Jesus Christ was alive today, he would be leading this protest [against e-tolls]," he said.

Father Michael Deeb, of the SACBC, agreed with Dakile.

"If we look at what my comrade here said, what Jesus did in his own life was that he did not accept any injustice and any forms of exploitation that was taking place," he said.

Shaun Pfister, from Bikers Against E-tolls, said it did not want e-tolls in any province.

"With the planning, the manipulation and the way it has been implemented, the public on the whole has not been consulted."

He apologised to motorists who would be inconvenienced by the protests.

"We are not doing this for bikers. We are doing it for everyone who uses our national roads," he said.

Pfister and other members of his organisation wore badges on their leather jackets reading: "e-toll can suck my toll-e [tollie is slang for penis]".

Another wore a swastika, and one the SS insignia, used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's personal guards, the Schutzstaffel.


Source : Sapa /aa/hdw/clh/th
Date : 22 May 2013 13:37
 

CR34M3

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"The church is quite clear, and it is our view that even if Jesus Christ was alive today, he would be leading this protest [against e-tolls]," he said.
Quote of the week. :)
 

ISP cash cow

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Good thing for the strike against e-tolls but I would put my house on the fact that they will probably also incorporate the whole ban labour brokers thing again.
 
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