“According to the Motoring Press the illegality of drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts does not appear in the proposed rules.
Is there anything that can be done to rectify this ommission? My small efforts through writing letters and letters to the Press have no effect whatsoever. Even the Premier’s Office in the Western Cape does not react to my proposal that all drivers of Government vehicles should be encouraged to wear seat belts.
No doubt the elections take priority!! Here in Hermanus no drivers of Police and Traffic Police vehicles wear seat belts yet these are the people who should be enforcing the law. Death and injury is reduced if people wear !
I cannot understand why nobody seems intersted. I look forward to receiving your comments.
We referred this question to one of our experts on AARTO.
Where anyone would get it from that AARTO does not cater for not wearing seat belts is way beyond my understanding. But then again, so is most of the rhetoric that is written on this topic by various authors who have absolutely no understanding of almost everything to do with AARTO, including the nonsense that gets spewed out of the mouths of those who seem to think that AARTO itself will cure our appallingly poor road safety record in South Africa.
Firstly let me deal with how the AARTO Act and Regulations actually does to some extent define fines for this infringement. Below is a list of the possible charge codes and their applicable penalties:
As you can see, the penalties are incredibly low, and what is more frightening is that the associated demerit points attached to them are pathetically deficient. I can cite example after example of how the concentration of the charges under AARTO have primarily focussed on just two areas – those of speed and overloading. These too are very dangerous, however I might add that the outcome of a high speed crash would most certainly be more serious if one were not wearing a seat belt than if one were.
Everyone needs to get educated on AARTO and begin to realise that it is not new traffic law at all, but merely a new way to administer existing traffic law. That would be a very good starting point for those who think it does not cater for infringements or offences that are catered for in the National Road Traffic Act – which actually exists both under AARTO and the Criminal Procedure Act and has since 1996. The other thing that they would be best advised to take note of is that AARTO is not proposed, it is enacted legislation and is in force in Johannesburg and Pretoria and coming to a centre near them in the very near future.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa