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PUBLIC SERVICE SELECT COMMITTEE
16 October 2002
ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES AMENDMENT BILL: BRIEFING
Documents handed out:
The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill [B42B-2002]
Report on Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Appendix 1)
Department of Transport - Notes on Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offices Amendment Bill (Appendix 2)
Chairperson: Ms P Majodina (ANC)
The Committee approved all the amendments proposed by the Portfolio Committee to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill. However, concern was expressed on the issue referring to the submission of a copy of a list of proposed names to be appointed to a Road Traffic Infringement Agency Board , to be forwarded to the relevant Parliamentary Committee. On this item the Committee requested for motivation from the Portfolio Committee.
Briefing by Mr. van Tonder
Mr.van Tonder, Department of Transport informed the Committee that the Bill amended the Administrative Adjudication of Roads Traffic Offences Act, 1998 (Act No. 46 of 1998). He said that the amendment of the Act was necessary to regulate the composition of the board and to provide for the appointment of sheriffs by the Minister. Amendments would also prescribe an extended period for payment of infringement fines, making representations and enforcing orders.
Mr. van Tonder said that the Bill proposes that the board comprise seven members and that a restriction that five of such members should not be employees of the state be repealed. He pointed out that the Bill makes provision for the extension of the period of compliance with the infringement notice from 28 days to 32 days.
Mr. van Tonder noted that the Bill makes provision for the traffic infringer to be informed in the prescribed manner if demerit points had been recorded against his or her name. He added that the prosecutor must notify the issuing authority of the reasons if he/she declined to prosecute. The Bill does also makes provision for the payment of fines by instalments.
Mr. van Tonder explained that members of the Executive Councils responsible for traffic or transport in the nine provinces were consulted and that consensus regarding the proposed changes was duly agreed upon.
The Chair asked why the Bill gave traffic officials authority to destroy drivers' licences. She said this was a humiliating experience for those affected. At what stage does the law protect the citizenry from arbitrary treatment by malicious officers?
Mr.van Tonder explained that documents would not be destroyed arbitrarily but that there was a clear procedure to be followed before an officer could destroy an offender's driving license. He explained that after an offender had been convicted in court demerit points accumulated up to twelve demerits. The offenders' document would be suspended if it exceeded twelve points. Upon the third suspension the document would be revoked and that was when a traffic officer had the authority to destroy such a document but only if it was being used illegally. He added that there were adequate in-build mechanisms to ensure that traffic officials did not violate the citizen's rights.
The Chair made reference to clause 4 2(b) at section 6 which made provision for a copy of the Gazette notice on the list of proposed names for a Road Traffic Infringement Agency Board to be served on the relevant Parliamentary Committees. To what end did this provision serve in view of the fact that members of Parliament were the ones who promulgate these laws?
Mr. van Tonder replied that the Portfolio Committee introduced the proviso and that he had no idea what object it was meant to achieve. The Committee insisted on the provision in spite of the department's assurance that the Gazette publication constituted public notice.
Mr Raju (DP) said that the Bill was treating traffic offenders too gently by making provision for fines to be paid in instalments. Stiffer penalties were desirable to arrest the escalating road carnage.
Mr. van Tonder replied that the question of instalment payment was an important one and that it generated a heated debate. He explained that provision were made for offenders to plead extenuating circumstances regarding their financial situation to the relevant agency. The relevant agency would in turn consider such a plea and make a determination whether or not one should pay instalments or the full amount.
Mr. Raju noted that it was not clear how much and how many times instalments were to be paid. There were no mechanisms in place to determine the earning ability of the offender.
Mr. van Tonder replied that the agency to which representations for instalment payment was made would after taking all relevant circumstances in consideration decide the amount and timeframes for settlement of the instalments.
Mr. Windvoel (ANC) underscored the importance of striking a balance between underpaid traffic offenders and those who own vehicles. What happened in situations where a traffic offence was attributable to the owner of the truck and not the driver.
Mr. van Tonder explained that there were cases where the law found the owner of the vehicle to be the offender and not the driver. He however noted that there were other clear cases where the driver was guilty and yet there were other cases where both the owner and driver are jointly held to be liable. The law does not discriminate against the driver as such but made clear distinction where appropriate. He however admitted that there were cases where it was never that clear as to whom between the driver and the owner was to blame.
Mr. Windvoel (ANC) asked if drivers and field officers were aware about the type of cases where the owner of the automobile was liable and not the driver.
Mr. van Tonder admitted that it was possible there were officers in the field who may not comprehend this distinction. He said that department had compiled a comprehensive training material to sensitise traffic officials in provinces on these legal provisions. He expressed optimism that this training would empower the officers to take a judicious decision on these matters.
Mr. Windvoel noted that the Memorandum referred to the appointment of the sheriff by the Minister and did not specify which Minister. He said this ambiguity was undesirable.
Mr. van Tonder acknowledged that the ambiguity was unacceptable and promised to clarify the position. He said that the appointment of sheriffs was the responsibility of the Minister of Transport as provided for in the Bill.
Mr. Sulliman (ANC) asked about inclusion in the Bill of municipal laws instead of reference being made to Municipal by-laws.
Mr. van Tonder clarified that there were no municipal laws and that the Bill only referred to municipal by-laws, which derive their competence from the national legislation and regulations.
Mr. Sulliman (ANC) observed that provisions on payment at clause 9(b) were rather harsh in view of the fact that attachment of the offender's articles was authorised.
Mr. van Tonder explained that the Bill was clear that only movable property could be attached. He said that the department was in a difficult position where the fine amount was not settled and that was why provisions had been made that in deserving cases payment be made in instalments.
Mr. Raju (DP) asked if there were prospects for the department to legislate that drivers underwent medical check-up annually to ensure they were fit to drive.
The Chair intervened at this juncture and reminded Mr. Raju that the Bill was an administrative mechanism and that his question related to the road safety network.
Mr. van Tonder replied that there was a rudimentary medical test for drivers to check on things like sight. He continued that the department was in the process of reviewing this procedure so that it could come up with a more effective test that would materialise every second year.
Mr. Raju asked what the department was doing to ensure that long distance drivers did not cause accidents due to fatigue.
Mr. van Tonder admitted that the question of long distance drivers was a very sensitive one and that there was no doubt that fatigue on the part of the drivers was one major cause of road accidents. The department was exploring the possibility of involving medical personnel but that the issue was complicated by lack of clarity on whether it falls under the traffic Act or labour.
A member referred to the provision on reduced fines where one paid up immediately and asked who determined the reduction and whether this amount was fixed.
Mr. vanTonder clarified that all fines were standardised and reduced fines were allowable where one settled within the period of 32 days and that the reduction was a small percentage of the principal amount. He reiterated that there must be a valid reason to settle a fine in instalment.
Mr. Sulliman referred to the payment processes at clause 19 B and wondered why this procedure was provided for in this Bill instead of the criminal procedure Act.
Mr. van Tonder replied that it was specifically provided that the criminal procedure Act did not apply to the Bill.
Amendment on Section 6 Clause 4 (2)b - on copy of list of proposed members to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency Board to Parliamentary Committee
The Chair took members through the amendments as proposed by the Portfolio Committee and all were unanimously approved except for the amendment at section 6 clause 4 2(b) which states that "[The Minister must prior to appointing members in subsection (1)a, publish the names of the persons proposed to be appointed as such members in the Gazette and invite comment on the suitability of such members for appointment] Prior to the appointment of a person to the board, the Minister mustâ€¦â€¦â€¦.forward a copy to the relevant Parliamentary Committees".
The Chair was of the view that members of Parliament must be sufficiently informed of the legislation that had been promulgated and that therefore there was no need for them to be supplied with copies of the Gazette Notice.
Mr van Tonder said that he would need to go back to his constituents for instructions on this particular amendment.
Mr. Moosa (ANC) noted that the Committee would be setting a bad precedent to make provision for the copies of the Gazette notice to be made available to the relevant Parliamentary Committees.
Mr. Raju (DP) suggested that the Portfolio Committee be asked to put in a motivation as to why this amendment was necessary. He cautioned that such amendments could upset the uniformity in legislative processes.
The Chair reminded members that there would be a visit following week to the provinces and requested them to prepare accordingly.
Mr. Moosa (ANC) requested the department to summarise the proposed amendments to enable members to make presentation to the provinces.
The Chair reminded the Committee regarding the road safety debate and that the Committee had agreed not to make speeches. She suggested that members convene a meeting with public works to discuss why there had been no single Bill from that department.
The Chair acknowledged the presence of PMG monitors. She thanked PMG for the clarity with which it recorded the proceedings of the house and welcomed its contribution in publicising the work of the Committee.
Meeting was adjourned.
REPORT TO NCOP ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION
OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES
Road traffic management comprises of many functional areas. To be effective in road traffic management the various functional areas have to operate in a system. The effectiveness of law enforcement relies heavily on the successful adjudication of road traffic offences. At the moment the adjudication of traffic offences is not the highest priority in the judicial system. Many traffic offences are not brought to finality. There is a continuous downward trend in the finalization of offences. The following table depicts the finalization trend under the Criminal Procedures Act (Act No 51 of 1977).
Section 341 ( Sport Fine)
Section 56 summons with option of fine )
Section 54 ( Summon to appear in court )
Â· to encourage compliance with the national and provincial laws relating to road traffic and to promote road traffic safety;
Although an in-depth study was not done recently there is enough evidence that the downward trend is continuing.
The result of the downward trend is that the risk of successful prosecution of traffic offences is ever decreasing. This is one of the major factors that has a detrimental effect on law enforcement efforts. Another important factor influencing traffic law enforcement negatively is the fines system. Fines differ vastly from one jurisdictional area to the other causing frustration amongst road users and law enforcement officials. In many cases the fine is not fitting the crime that was committed which, particularly in the case of low fines, has a further detrimental effect on traffic law enforcement.
There is no proper record-keeping of previous traffic offences, therefore, each traffic offender is almost always treated as a first offender.
The current system is furthermore open to fraud and corruption. This must be addressed in a very firm and effective manner. The training of traffic officers and prosecutors is lacking, while some magistrates should pay more attention to the devastating effect of traffic offences and the resulting traffic accidents have on the South African community.
To improve the current state of affairs, the Department of Transport has started to develop a new system, namely the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) system. The AARTO Act was published in the Government Gazette on 11 September 1998. This is not a new invention. Similar systems are in operation elsewhere.
These systems were researched before the RSA AARTO was developed. It is noteworthy that the debt collecting agencies overseas achieve success rates in collecting fines of more than 90 percent. The concept is so successful that the collection of other outstanding debt is also done through such agencies.
2. PRINCIPLES OF THE AARTO CONCEPT
2.1 The offender is forced by law to pay all the adjudication costs when guilty. On the other hand incentives are provided to pay the fine within 32 days. The incentive is a 20 percent discount on the fine. Should one commit an offence one would benefit from early payment. If an offender frustrates the system and delays payment the cost the agency incurs to eventually collect the money will be for the account of the offender. The cost of each transaction is legislated
2.2 The constitutional right of all offenders is honoured at all times. The offender always has the right to be heard in a court of law. The AARTO Act does not decriminalize any road traffic offence but presents a lucrative alternative administrative system to offenders to finalise their cases.
2.3 Demerit points will be applicable to all traffic offences but good behaviour will also be awarded because demerit points will diminish over time until it reaches zero.
2.4 Penalties for traffic offences will be uniform countrywide while magistrates will be encouraged to impose the same or even higher fines when an offender opts to go to court and is then found guilty.
3. OBJECTIVES OF THE AARTO ACT
The following is a brief summary of the objectives of the AARTO Act:
Â· to encourage the payment of penalties imposed for infringements and to allow alleged minor infringers to make representations;
Â· to establish a procedure for the effective and expeditious adjudication of infringements;
Â· to alleviate the burden on the courts of trying offenders for infringements;
Â· to penalise drivers and operators who are guilty of infringements or offences through the imposition of demerit points leading to the suspension and cancellation of driving licences, professional driving permits or operator cards;
Â· to reward law-abiding behaviour by reducing demerit points imposed if infringements or offences are not committed over specified periods;
Â· to establish an agency to support the law enforcement and judicial authorities and to undertake the administrative adjudication process; and
Â· to strengthen co-operation between the prosecuting and law enforcement authorities by establishing a board to govern the agency.
4. OBJECTIVES OF THE AGENCY
The following is a brief summary of the objectives of the agency:
Â· to administer a procedure to discourage the contravention of road traffic laws and to support the adjudication of infringements;
Â· to enforce penalties imposed against persons contravening road traffic laws;
Â· to provide specialised prosecution support services; and
Â· to undertake community education and community awareness programmes in order to ensure that individuals understand their rights and options
5. FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE AGENCY
Â· To receive notices from any issuing authority if an infringer has not paid the penalalty within 32 days or, in the case ofa minor infringement, has not make representations to the Agency.
Â· Considering representations from infringers with regard to infringement notices that were issued for minor offences.
Â· Issuing a courtesy letter to an infringer who has failed to comply with an infringement notice.
Â· Issuing an enforcement order against an infringer who has failed to comply with the requirements of a notice advising him or her that his or her representations were not successful or a courtesy letter, or who has failed to appear in court when the infringer has elected to appear in court.
Â· Issue a warrant to an infringer who does not comply to an enforcement order to:
~ seize and sell movable property to defray the cost of the Agency's attempts to bring the case to finality plus the penalty;
~ confiscate the driving licence or professional driving permit of the infringer;
~ remove the licence disc of a motor vehicle of which the infringer is the owner;
~ seize or deface the operator card of a motor vehicle of which the infringer is the registered operator;
~ immobilize the motor vehicle of which the infringer is the owner or registered operator.
Â· Revoking an enforcement order if infringer can submit reasons satisfying the registrar or if an issuing authority applies for revocation.
Â· Assisting the prosecution authorities to get persons who committed offences before the courts through serving of documents and keeping of records on its database.
Â· Providing law enforcement equipment and support services to issuing authorities.
Â· On the request of a Director of Public Prosecutions make available a person to testify as an expert witness in a trial on a charge relating to an offence.
Provide training to authorised officers or staff of the prosecuting authority.
Â· Disseminating information regarding the role and functions of the agency and the rights enjoyed by individuals in terms of the AARTO Act.
Â· Supporting road traffic safety awareness programmes.
Â· A proper information system must be established by the agency.
6. COMPOSITION OF THE AGENCY
The agency reports to the Minister of Transport.
The agency board comprises of seven (7) persons. The Minister of Transport will appoint five (5) members. These persons could be from the private or public sector. These persons must have relevant experience and expertise. A Director of Public Prosecutions, nominated by the National Director of Public Prosecutions in consultation with the Minister of Transport, and the registrar ofthe agency.
The registrar is appointed by the board who is for all practical purposes the CEO of the agency. Not more than twenty five (25) deputy registrars may be appointed by the board. The rest of the staff, including the representation officers and the administrative and information technology staff is appointed by the registrar. Sheriffs (or deputy sheriffs) appointed in terms of the Sheriffs Act, 1986 (Act No 90 of 1986) will be "contracted" by the agency. The agency has wide ranging powers to utilise private sector expertise by contracting them.
7. FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD
The board must submit an annual report on the activities of the agency to the Minister of Transport for tabling in Parliament. The board must consider the business plan prepared by the registrar for approval. The board advises the Minister of Transport regarding amendments to the Act to improve the effectiveness of the agency.
The board also has to identify the support that the agency may require to assist with the prosecution of road traffic offenders and the adjudication of offences by the courts. The monitoring of the success achieved by the agency by promoting compliance with the road traffic laws is another function.
8. FINANCING OF THE AGENCY
The bulk of the income of the agency is through fees for courtesy letters issued by the agency and for serving documents, such as enforcement orders and warrants. The agency is also entitled to the difference in the penalty and the reduced amount the infringer pays if payment is made within 32 days of the commitment of the infringement. The agency also retains the fee for an unsuccessful representation. Money may be appropriated by Parliament and the agency may receive donations from any person or institution.
9. PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY THE AGENCY
The following figures appended hereto (Figures lA to ID) give an indication of the flow of documentation and the procedures and processes followed by the agency.
10. PRINCIPLES THAT ARE APPLICABLE TO THE POINTS DEMERIT SYSTEM (PDS):
Points are only recorded in the following circumstances:
Â· after payment of the penalty. If installments have been arranged it will be after the first installment;
Â· after a person has been found guilty in a court of law;
Â· after an enforcement order has been issued;
Â· except in the case of a registered operator points will recordered only against a natural person and not for example a company (a company does not have a driving license professional driving permit etc.) The fine for a company will be three times that of a natural person.
The number of points is in direct relation with the severity of the infringement or offence and it will vary from 0 to 4 points.
Good behaviour is rewarded. The demerit points will diminish with one point for every three months of offence free driving.
The threshold value of demerit points is 2. When I 2 points are exceeded a driving license or professional driving permit (PrDP) or operator card, whichever is relevant. will be suspended. At the third suspension the document will be cancelled and the person will not be allowed to apply during the cancellation period for a new document. In the case of a driving licence or a PrDP, a person whose document has been cancelled will only be permitted to apply for a new license or permit after his / her demerit points have dropped below 12. A new licence will only be issued after the applicant has passed the relevant test. This could have insurance implications for the person.
II. DRIVERS WITH A PrDP IN THE EMPLOY OF OPERATORS
The demerit points incurred by drivers of an operator for driver offences, such as failure to stop in accordance with a traffic signal, will not affect the operator. An infringement notice will only be issued to the driver and the demerit points resulting from such notice will only be recorded against the driver.
This does not imply that no driver action will ever affect an operator. Failure to exercise control over its drivers is an offence by the operator. The driver and the operator will be prosecuted for such offences like speeding, overloading, etc..
Demerit points may be incurred by drivers and operators from the same events such as vehicles not roadworthy and overloading of vehicles. In terms of the AART(;) Act separate infringement notices will be issued to the driver and the operator, both will be served on the driver (as employee / representative of the operator), and the demerit points resulting from each notice will be recorded separately against the driver and operator respectively.
12. PROPOSED PDS FOR OPERATORS OF MULTIPLE VEHICLES
The introduction of the operator dimension in conjunction with the removal of economic regulation for the transportation of goods was inter alia based on the principle of maintaining safe conditions for all road users. This implies that an operator should not be allowed to operate a single vehicle or an additional vehicle over and above the vehicle(s) already operated, if it would result in a deterioration of the safety conditions on the road.
The provisions of the Road Traffic Act reflects the principle of reducing the scale of an operator's operations to a level at which the operator might be able to cope without committing road traffic offences, by empowering the MEC or a court of law to suspend one or all operator cards of an operator for a period of not more than 12 months. In terms of the PDS, this requires global thresholds on the entire operations of an operator.
The global upper threshold for an operator, for example is determined in accordance with the following formula:
Twelve (12) times the number of vehicles currently operated times X% (Xis equal to or less than 100)
Should the number of points recorded against an operator for the vehicles operated by the operator at depot level (or across all depots operated by the operator) exceed the global lower threshold, an audit would be initiated by the Department of Transport (or Road Traffic Management Corporation upon its establishment) to identify the cause and recommend the introduction of such sanction against the operator as may be necessary to prevent further road traffic offences and demerit points being recorded against the operator. The sanction in its most severe form include the suspension of operator cards to reduce the scale of the operators operations to levels which the operator is capable of managing the fleet properly.
To be able to identify individual vehicles that may have attracted excessive points, the number of points per vehicle is also monitored and the conditions described in a previous paragraph will be applicable to each vehicle individually.
13. MANAGEMENT OF THE POINTS DEMERIT SYSTEM (PI)S)
The management will be administered by the national contraventions register of the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS). NaTIS will generate a notification to a person informing him or her of the allocation of demerit points every time points are
added. NaTIS will maintain the parameters of the system and generate a report of all driving licenses, PrDP's or operator cards suspended.
The status of demerit points allocated to a person (sum of points added and diminished) can be obtained at any time by the person at any registering authority or driving licence testing centre upon submitting acceptable identification in terms of the legislation and payment of the prescribed fee.
A person that has accumulated demerit points exceeding the upper threshold limit, will not receive his driving licence card, PrDP or operator card upon application for a reissue of the document or a duplicate document during the period of suspension. Likewise, NaTIS will not reissue a driving licence, PrDP or operator card or a duplicate of such document to a person, of which the relevant document has been cancelled on the system, until the period of disqualification has expired.
14. ACCESS TO A DRIVER'S DEMERIT POINTS BY AN EMPLOYER
The draft AARTO regulations prescribe a procedure whereby a person gives written permission for his or her demerit points position on the national contravention register to be disclosed to a third person identified in the written permission. This third person could be an employer or potential employer.
An applicant for a position of driver could already have a number of demerit points recorded which could result in the suspension or even cancellation of the drivers driving licence and PrDP at the next infringement. With regard to existing employees such employees may be served with infringement notices of which the employer is never informed. Again this written permission will enable an employer (operator) to verify an employees (driver's) demerit points position from time to time.
MINCOM approved that the AARTO implementation should be on an area-by-area basis and adequate training of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, clerks of the court and agency personnel is of key importance. Information material should be made available to magistrates and a proper communication strategy should be followed to inform road users of the new system.
Successful road traffic management in South Africa is largely dependent on the intensity of law enforcement, the level of fines, demerit points, successful adjudication and communication.
An environment must be created in which it would be too risky for road users not to abide by the traffic rules. Only by doing this we will be able to drive the accident rate down.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT: REPORT TO NCOP
THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES:
NOTES ON THE AMENDMENT BILL
(As amended by the Portfolio Committee on Transport)
- This report should be read in conjunction with the report previously submitted to the NCOP which gives an overview of the AARTO Act, Act 46 of 1998 (the Act) and to a certain extent the Amendment Bill.
- A clause by clause explanation of the more significant amendments to the Bill will be given. Reference will be made to the various clauses of the Amendment Bill.
- Amendment of Section 1 of the Act
A card type driving licence issued in terms of the National Road Traffic Act, Act 1996 will be acceptable identification for the purpose of the Act. A representations officer is also defined. (This was a request made by the Portfolio Committee).
4. Amendment of Section 2 of the Act
The amendment includes reference to municipal laws which were previously omitted. The section further deals with the reduction of demerit points that were previously incurred should further infringements or offences not been committed over specified periods. In the principle Act the word "imposed" was used instead of where demerit points have been "incurred". Further, the same clause is amended to include all procurements into the procedures that must be followed for contracting.
- Amendment of Section 6 of the Act
- Amendment of Section 9 of the Act
- Substitution of Section 12 of the Act
- Amendment of Section 13 of the Act
The principle Act states that three persons who are not employed by the State must be appointed by the Minister. The Amendment Bill changes the three persons to five and removes the restriction that the persons should not be in the employ of the State. Amendment 4(b)(2) is clear. It should however be noted that subclause (b) was included on the request of the Portfolio Committee.
The twenty five (written out in words) has been changed to 25 which is in line with accepted legal drafting requirements.
Previously the registrar might have recommended to the Minister of Justice to appoint sheriffs or deputy sheriffs. In the Amendment Bill it is the Minister that recommends to the Minister of Justice after consultation with the Registrar.
The reference in the principle Act was wrong and it is now rectified in the Amendment Bill.
9. Amendment of Section 17 of the Act
The period for payment of all fines has been extended from 28 to 32 days to include at least one pay day before the payment of a fine. Arrangements to pay a penalty and other costs if any in installments are provided for.
- Amendment of Section 18 of the Act
- Amendment of Section 19 of the Act
This amendment again deals with the 28 days (extended to 32 days) and payment in installments. It also provides the possibility of a representations officer to refer an infringer to a court of law.
Amend 28 days to 32 days.
12.Insertion of Sections 19A and 19B into the Act
19 A deals with the exercising of an option. Whatever option is taken and the case is not concluded the case must finalized corresponding to the administrative process envisaged in the Act.
19B deals with insufficient payment to the agency or when a cheque offered for payment is dishonoured.
A notice must then be forwarded to the infringer and payment must be made within 32 days. The notice must also inform the infringer that if payment is not made a warrant will be issued. The payment must include the prescribed fee of the notice. The amendment also deals with payment in installments where a similar procedure will be followed.
13.Amendment of Section 20 of the Act
The amendment of this clause has the purpose of tidying up the references and wording of the principal Act and to substitute the 28 days in all instances with 32 days. The clause further makes provision for the payment to the agency of any payments received by an authority to be made within the prescribed period otherwise the agency may charge interest at a prescribed rate. The amendment also deals with the revocation of an enforcement order. When and enforcement order is revoked all its consequences must be cancelled.
14.Amendment of Section 22 of the Act
This section mainly deals with a prosecutor declining to prosecute. In this event the prosecutor must provide in writing to the issuing authority his or her reasons for not proceeding with a prosecution. No admission of guild may be endorsed on a summons or may be accepted. If an infringer fails to appear in court after the infringer has opted to appear in court the registrar must issue an enforcement order.
15.Amendment of Section 24 of the Act
This clause deals with the recording of demerit points. Demerit points will be recorded once partial payment of a penalty or fee is made or a dishonored payment is received. When a case has been heard in a court of law the clerk of the court must inform the agency of the result of the case.
16.Amendment of Section 25 of the Act
This deals with the case where the maximum numbers of demerit points is exceeded and a document suspended. If a person whose driving licence, professional driving permit or operator card from the vehicle has been suspended is caught driving a vehicle on a public road this person is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both. The same applies when a vehicle for which the operator card has been suspended is driven on a public road.
17.Amendment of Section 26 of the Act
This amends the procedure of sending a specific notice. This will not have any consequences for road users.
18.Amendment of Section 27 of the Act
This amendment deals with the revocation of an operator card or driving licence or permit upon a third suspension. A driving licence in an ID must be endorsed as cancelled and a driving licence card, professional driving permit or operator card must be destroyed.
19.Amendment of Section 28 of the Act
The issuing authority will not be responsible for the reduction of the number of demerit points. This amendment makes the agency responsible for the task. The Act states that the demerit points may be reduced by one for every three months during which no further offences or infringements were committed.
20.Amendment of Section 31 of the Act
The amendment makes the law of prescription also not applicable to the fees and not only the penalties as previously prescribed in the Act.
21.Amendment of Section 32 of the Act
This amendment includes municipal laws and no longer refers to the national and provincial laws only.
22.Amendment of Section 33 of the Act
This amendment deals with the ascertaining of the demerit points of a person. The manner in which this may be done is prescribed (in the regulations).
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