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  • Long-distance taxi drivers educated on AARTO

    Most long distance taxi drivers based in Polokwane, say they aren't aware of all the traffic fines issued in accordance with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences AARTO Act of 1998. They made this statement as officials of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency RTIA visited the Polokwane long distance taxi rank on June 24 for a public awareness campaign about the implementation of AARTO. The RTIA is the custodian of the AARTO Act, that facilitates a point demerit system for violations of traffic law. The senior communications officer of RTIA, Ramson Masipa told Polokwane Observer that almost all drivers who consulted with their officials at the Polokwane long distance taxi rank had more than one fine that they had not paid, nor appeared before court to mitigate a reduction or complete scrapping thereof. Masipa said it is a saddening reality as the said drivers stand the possibility of losing their public driving permits if they do not settle their outstanding fines. Some of the long distance drivers said that they are grateful to RTIA for educating them about the importance of settling fines issued in accordance of the Act when they are found to have overlooked some traffic rules. Madimetja Machete a driver, who transport commuters from Polokwane to Rustenburg and Johannesburg remarked: "I found that I have fines that I hadn't known of. "I was advised to go to the municipal traffic offices to settle my fine, even if its in bits and pieces. "I will do so because I don't want to lose my licence. In total I owe R310." Another driver, Alpheus Kekana who drives from Randburg to Alexander and Soweto said: "I don't have a fine currently. I had fines previously, a lot of them, but I settled them all because I don't want to lose my public driving permit." In closing the day's awareness campaign, Masipa said they are humbled to see drivers willing to settle their fines. He said they plan to roll out the application of AARTO throughout South Africa as it is currently applicable only in Gauteng.

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