What is There to Know about Traffic Fines in South Africa?
- Police can arrest a driver without a warrant who is unfit to drive
- People who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be arrested on the spot
- A uniformed officer can stop any motorists – even just for a routine check
- There are 2 types of traffic fines – Section 342 is received in the mail
- A section 56 fine is one where you are issued with it personally for breaking the law
Imprisonment for some Traffic Violations – Traffic Fines
We see them everywhere – those uniformed metro police officers hiding behind trees and bushes. They step out arrogantly into the middle of the road and flag you down.
It’s always best to obey the rules of the road to avoid situations like this, but if you feel that you haven’t done anything wrong, you do have the right to contest any accusation.
In South Africa, records of traffic fines are backed up electronically. There are different types of road traffic violations, some of which are looked upon as being very serious such as drinking and driving. In fact, it warrants a massive fine or even imprisonment.
Pay Your Traffic Fines Early and get a Discount
Camera infringements, for instance, are electronically generated by eNatis and sent to the guilty party by mail. If you pay quickly – usually within 32 days – you can benefit from a 50% discount.
If you don’t pay the fine within 32 days. You’ll get a courtesy letter telling you that you’ve got to pay the full amount immediately and that there will be administration fees too. So If you fail to adhere to this Courtesy Letter, an Enforcement Order will be issued to recover the penalty and fees.
Until the penalty and fees have been paid, no driving license or vehicle license disc will be issued. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, for instance, has recently warned everyone with outstanding traffic fines that they will have to appear in court or else pay the fine before the specified date.
Not adhering to this will see them being issued a warrant of arrest. In this city, a gigantic amount of R54,8 million of outstanding warrants has not been paid. Now the municipality is working with the National Department of Transport to implement the Natis Block on re-licensing vehicles. If you’ve got outstanding warrants, you won’t be able to re-license their cars until they’ve paid up.
Huge Traffic Fines can set You Back
There has been a price hike with some traffic fines. And for instance, failing to stop at a stop sign will get you a fine of R1 500 and driving a car with a cell phone in your hand will also get you a fine of R1 500.
Something else to bear in mind. Is that if you are found to be drinking and driving. You stand to face no less than 6 years in jail or a massive R120 000 fine and to crown it all a criminal record, which can stick with you for 10 years.
It seems as though in South Africa, it may be better to just drive responsibly and save yourself a lot of trouble.
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