Concerns have been drawn towards Gauteng’s new traffic law which the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) referred to as yet another means to extort money from people.
JPSA, who first criticized the proposed traffic law for being focused majorly on revenue generation, calls for people to resist the new proposal, saying it would further worsen people’s financial challenges.
Howard Dembovsky of the JPSA said parties have been informed about the proposed changes after the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport contacted interested parties by email.
The email had in it an attached newspaper advert which had reportedly been published in the weekend newspapers calling for further comment on proposed amendments to the AARTO Act.
“We have grave reservations about the constitutionality of several of the proposals, as well as the existing provisions of the Act, which we believe will and currently do lead to unjust convictions,” said Dembovsky.
“The AARTO Act, the proposals to amend it, and the way in which traffic enforcement is practised in South Africa is not safety-orientated to any acceptable degree. It’s all about the money and that is very, very sad indeed,” he said.
The new proposals are:
- Removing the right of an alleged infringer to elect to be tried in court until a courtesy letter has been issued;
- Allowing the re-issue of infringement notices where issuing authorities or the RTIA have failed to comply with procedures prescribed by the AARTO Act;
- Creating an Appeals Tribunal which will take the place of trial in courts; and
- Allowing salaries, pensions and benefits of RTIA staff to be decided without the involvement of the Minister of Finance.
Meanwhile, Mayor Herman Mashaba has laid out plans on how to fix Joburg traffic light mess.
The mayor, during his media address on the Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) new programmes to ease traffic congestion, said that through the city road agency, he will implement interventions combating the challenge of traffic signal downtime at key traffic intersections throughout Joburg.
Explaining further how the this project would go, Mashaba said starting with key intersections, JRA technicians will no longer join old cables when an electrical fault is reported at a downed traffic light, instead, it will totally replace them with new ones.
It’s the city’s ultimate goal is to progressively roll out this no-join policy on a city-wide scale beginning in its 2017/2018 financial year and by doing this, we will make Joburg’s traffic network more resilient to the impact of wet weather conditions, lightning and electrical surges which contribute to signal downtime, Mashaba said.
JRA Managing Director Sean Philips said the agency has budgeted close around R200 million over the next three to prioritize around 180 Joburg traffic light annually.