While some traffic infringements – like overstaying your welcome at a metre – may seem innocuous, having a penalty system for drivers who are disobeying the rules of the road is integral to keeping all road users safe. Consider that even a split-second bad decision can lead to injury or – even worse – death. So, even if you aren’t a fan of traffic fines, they are the best method to ensure users are more likely to comply with the road rules.
That said, if you do find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you will be subject to pay a fine, which thanks to AARTO, has become fairly easy and substantially cheaper to pay.
The AARTO – which came into effect on 1 July 2021 – is an administrative process that decriminalises many traffic offences. Before the AARTO came into effect, drivers who committed relatively insignificant offences like leaving their drivers license at home would be subject to criminal prosecution according to the CPA. Now, offences like speeding, not having your license on you, and not wearing a seatbelt aren’t categorised as offences but rather as infringements that are subject to a fine and a demerit according to the demerit system.
To avoid additional charges, you should check your infringements regularly. The best way to do this is to access information about your infringements online.
Checking your tickets online also means that you are more likely to benefit from the AARTO’s 50% discount as you’ll know about the infringements within the 32 day grace period and can make arrangements to pay.
There are several access portals for you to view your traffic fines. One of those is the AARTO, but there are also private providers like PayCity. However, if you’ve created an AARTO profile – which is rather simple – you’ll be able to view any outstanding fines on your dashboard and pay them online.
How to Check If I Have Traffic Fines To Pay
While every notice for a traffic infringement should be sent via registered mail to the address the traffic department has on record, these fines may not reach you – the intended recipient – on time, for any number of reasons. Because of this, you should be checking your traffic fines regularly. Sometimes you may have traffic infringements that you are not aware of or that have been improperly allocated to your vehicle.
There are two primary methods to conveniently check your traffic infringements, that is the AARTO and PayCity. PayCity is a private entity that has a long-standing partnership with the government and has a convenient method to view and pay.
PayCity is a private online portal that enables you to view your outstanding infringements. The system is updated in real-time, so you can view your fines instantly instead of waiting for a letter from the AARTO. However, to pay your fines through PayCity, you’ll be charged a convenience fee of R10.
That aside, the platform is very user-friendly and you can get assistance from the 24/7 helpdesk if you have any issues – something you can’t do with AARTO.
But using a third-party service like PayCity isn’t necessary if you don’t mind familiarising yourself with the AARTO’s system. The AARTO’s system is free to use for personal and company vehicles. To view your fines, all you need to do is provide your particulars, after which you’ll be redirected to your user dashboard.
Similarly to PayCity, this information is also updated in real-time.
Several outlets enable you to pay for your traffic infringements. So, the choice of where to pay it should be based on your preference.
You can pay them at retail outlets like:
- Some Woolworths stores
- Pick n Pay – Nationwide
- Shoprite – Nationwide
- Checkers – Nationwide
- Engen Quickshops
You can pay them through your online banking profile or app at the following banks:
- Standard Bank
When you’re paying through your bank, you’ll need to insert the 16-digit infringement code that is attached to the fine.
You can pay them online through:
- PayCity (An additional R10 fee applies for every payment made)
- Online Banking Profile
Now that the AARTO has come into effect, you can also make a 50% saving on your traffic fines if you pay them in full within the first 32 days of receiving your fine. So, if you are going to use one of the above portals to pay within 32 days you only need to pay half the amount of the full fine. However, to be sure you qualify for this you should check the AARTO website.
Prior to the AARTO coming into effect nationwide, motorists who received fines would have been subject to an arrest, could face jail time and receive a criminal record. However, since the AARTO works to decriminalise minor traffic offences, the most severe form of punishment will be having your license suspended.
While this may not seem as extreme, the traffic department is constantly looking into different mechanisms to increase compliance, which means changes could be made that have far more severe consequences.
If you weren’t the driver in the vehicle at the time or the car captured on the traffic camera isn’t yours you have 64 days to file a dispute. You will need to fill in and file a representation form which you can find online.
However, you can also elect to pay your fines in instalments within the first 64 days by completing the instalment form on the AARTO website. The maximum term for instalment payments is six months regardless of the amount. You can also email your form to email@example.com once you’ve completed it.
While the AARTO has made paying your fines easier, the process has become slightly more complex because of the admin involved. For this reason, you may want to contact the RTIA, your local traffic department, or a third party provider like PayCity if you’re unsure what to do.