The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, which is expected to be rolled out country-wide in 2016, will provide a myriad of challenges to businesses which operate a vehicle fleet according to an executive at Absa Vehicle Asset Finance.
A key aspect of AARTO is the demerit system which will see habitual transgressors’ licenses being suspended. It will also mean added administration for businesses which own a large number of vehicles. Business will be responsible for ensuring that their drivers have valid drivers’ licenses and will have to track if drivers have incurred fines in their personal capacity or while on duty.
Also, owners who are unaware of a fine on a particular vehicle and who fail to pay it could see license renewals, registrations and de-registrations for their entire fleet being withheld leading to further costs.
“The roll out of AARTO could spell major administrative problems for businesses which operate large vehicle fleets. Companies which do not track incoming fines or pay them on time could see their vehicles being taken off the road or their proxy facing prosecution,” says Wessel Steffens, Absa Vehicle Asset Finance (AVAF) Managing Executive.
In order to help customers manage the administration around their vehicle fleet, AVAF has developed its Fine’s and Licensing solution. Thanks to an electronic interface with 25 municipal districts across the country, AVAF can track outstanding fines and license fees.
“We are then able to notify the customer of these fines and send these fine notifications directly to the company so they can see which driver is responsible for the fine and track driver behavior. This also helps us protect the customer’s proxy,” says Steffens.
According to Absa, it is the first bank in South Africa to have this interface and provide this service. It also plans to extend it and pay outstanding amounts directly to the municipalities on behalf of Absa clients in the future.