Car rental companies weigh in on Aarto debate

Rental companies say the proposed system does not target the actual traffic offender and will not make South African roads safer.

A Cape Town motorist is issued with a fine for driving unaccompanied with a learners licence on 22 March 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Car rental and leasing companies say proposed amendments to traffic offences law are not feasible with neither having the desired effect in pilot sites like Johannesburg and Pretoria.

They say the proposed system does not target the actual traffic offender and will not make South African roads safer.

Parliament's transport portfolio committee is currently hosting another round of public submissions on amendments to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act.

Since the first round of public hearings last year, the portfolio committee on transport says it has had to rethink the proposed demerit system and the establishment of a tribunal to adjudicate on matters challenged by offenders.

But a technology company which services the car rental fleet industry says holding companies liable for traffic fines instead of the driver, will not make South African roads safer.

CanCom managing director Lauren Olinsky said: “This we believe is ludicrous as it is logistically that a proxy can drive multiple vehicles at the same time, but the Aarto Act is intent on keeping the blame on the proxy.

Olinsky says corruption in state licensing departments is rife, with enforcement orders being removed from companies and placed on a deceased person's name.

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(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)