Motorists in Tshwane and Johannesburg are already beginning to feel the effects of the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto).

Among others, a man was arrested in Sandton on Thursday for failing to display both his front and rear vehicle licence plates.

Johannesburg metro police Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said metro police who stopped the car discovered both licence plates in the boot.

In terms of Aarto, a driver failing to display his or her motor vehicle licence plates can be arrested, and as there is no fine for such an offence, the driver will have to appear in court.

Motorists should be aware of the new legislation, Minnaar said.

Aarto, already implemented in Tshwane since July last year, is now also being implemented in Johannesburg as a pilot, before being gradually rolled out country-wide over the next eleven months.

According to the Aarto website, people arrested for traffic offences will be dealt with in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act.

Road traffic violations under Aarto range from minor and major infringements to traffic offences.

The latter is regarded as a very serious violation of the law, warranting a major sentence on conviction, such as imprisonment, or a substantial fine, or both, the website says.

Such an offender will be arrested, charged and taken to court, while also receiving six demerit points.

Licence cancelled

Drivers have 12 points a year on their licences, and if all are lost, the licence will be suspended for a minimum of three months.

The licence will be cancelled after three suspensions, meaning the driver will have to apply for a new one.

If no points are lost, bonus points are added.

Drivers paying their fines within 32 days will get a 50% discount.

Offences include failing to display both licence plates, displaying an incorrect licence disc, driving under the influence, and certain categories of speeding.

Infringements, on the other hand, carry a fine and a demerit point or points against the driver.

Infringements include failing to comply with the instruction or direction of a traffic officer, failing to licence a vehicle, displaying one licence plate, failing to indicate, jumping a red light, and lesser speeding offences.

Speaking at the launch of Aarto in Tshwane last year, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said: “Through the implementation of the points demerit system, we will be able to identify habitual offenders who disregard the laws and punish them appropriately.

“However, it is a positive system in that we will also reward positive behaviour that shows the motorist is now abiding by the laws, through the reduction of the demerit points already allocated.”