South Africa: Road traffic offences system ready to roll

Computing

The technology behind the controversial traffic points demerits project, also called the administrative adjudication of road traffic offences (Aarto) system, is ready to go, says Tebogo Mphuti, CEO of Tasima, the company behind it.

Mphuti says all the development has been done and all that is left is for the transport minister, S’bu Ndebele, to gazette the new system and it can be rolled out. The Aarto system, which will see drivers docked points from their licences for traffic violations, has faced heavy criticism.

The system will not only manage the points demerit system, but will also be integrated hundreds of other services, including movement control systems at the airports and border posts.

There are discussions taking place to extend the system into other Southern African Development Community countries.

The system has been developed to allow as many officials as possible to monitor and police traffic violations, car registrations and the licensing of citizens, and is integrated with the e-Natis system, also developed by Tasima, to allow for all of that functionality.

Aarto will link to banks and some supermarket chains to allow citizens to pay fines and have those payments reflected immediately. It will also be connected to the system used by the department of justice, so information about people who are being prosecuted for not paying, or who are contesting fines, will be available to the courts.

The demerit system was piloted in Pretoria and its implementation was first set for last year. However, the department of transport received complaints about it from the private sector, organised labour and the unions and it was postponed to April this year.

The system has still not gone live, and Mphuti says government is in talks with those are opposed to its implementation.

The e-Natis system — which manages the registration of cars and issuing of licences, the licensing testing centres and the learner licence booking system — is the backbone of Aarto.

Over the next few months, e-Natis will be adding features, including the implementation of a computerised learner’s licence, whereas before learners would write a paper-based test.

Tasima will be rolling out a pilot of the computer-based tests in the Eastern Cape, where it will install steel desks with partitions and touch-screen computers encased in steel boxes.