Jump­ing stop sign - R1 500 TRAF­FIC FINES UP FOR XMAS

Us­ing cell­phone while driv­ing - R1 500 Metro takes a tougher stance on cit­i­zens who break the law Ve­hi­cle un­road­wor­thy - R2 000

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - By MAMELA GOWA

WHEN planning your bud­get for this fes­tive sea­son, best you keep some money aside in case you need it for the sky-high new traf­fic fines Buf­falo City Metro un­leashes on its cit­i­zens today.

If caught us­ing a cell­phone while driv­ing, in­stead of a R200 fine you’ll now­pay R1 500, and if found driv­ing with­out a driver’s li­cence you’ll also pay R1 500, this time up from R500.

BCM spokesman Samkelo Ng­wenya told the Daily Dis­patch yes­ter­day that the new in­creases were re­cently ap­proved by the East London Mag­is­trate’s Court and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the in­creases came just sea­son.

Ng­wenya said the new prices were in line with na­tional trends.

The fine for driv­ing a heavy mo­tor ve­hi­cle with­out a driver’s li­cence has gone from R2 000 R2 500.

Ng­wenya said an “in­con­sid­er­ate driv­ing” fine would now cost driv­ers R2 000 from R1 500.

He ex­plained in­con­sid­er­ate driv­ing as “when a mo­torist changes lanes in front of you with­out in­di­cat­ing or has bad driv­ing habits that might lead to ac­ci­dents.

Not com­ply­ing with the di­rec­tion of a “Stop” sign has in­creased from R750 to R1 500, while not com­ply­ing with a traf­fic light in­struc­tion goes from R1 000 to R1 500.

If you are in a 60km speed limit zone and caught driv­ing over 90km/h you will now pay a R1 200 fine, and if you are in a zone with a 90km speed limit, and caught driv­ing at 111+ km/h the price has in­creased from R200 to R800.

“Num­ber plates not af­fixed to mo­tor ve­hi­cles [will cost from] R300 [to] R1 000, op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle with a dam­aged tyre [from] R200 [to] R500 and con­vey­ing too many peo­ple in a minibus taxi [has in­creased from] R200 [to] R1 000,” said Ng­wenya.

The metro will be work­ing with the South African Po­lice Ser­vice and provin­cial traf­fic of­fi­cers to en­sure the new fines are en­forced.

Trans­port provin­cial spokes­woman Khuselwa Ran­tjie said the in time for the fes­tive depart­ment was in sup­port of the in­creases.

“As the depart­ment we wel­come the in­creases. Peo­ple must feel it in their pock­ets and the law needs to be en­forced too.

“We ap­peal to the mag­is­trates be­cause that is where peo­ple ap­peal when they get these fines,” said Ran­tjie, who added that these fines were ap­pli­ca­ble to BCM and could vary in other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince.

In ad­di­tion to the in­creased charges, Ng­wenya said road users need to take care while on the roads and should not:

● Drive ve­hi­cles while un­der the in­flu­ence of liquor or drugs;

● In­dulge in reck­less or driv­ing; ● Ex­ceed the speed limit; ● In­dulge in dis­trac­tive driv­ing, which in­cludes speak­ing on cell­phones and tex­ting while driv­ing;

● Al­low chil­dren younger than six years to oc­cupy the front pas­sen­ger seat; and

● Start the en­gine un­til every­one in it was buck­led up.

“There will be spon­ta­neous and neg­li­gent rov­ing road­blocks at strate­gic ar­eas around BCM. These will in­clude, amongst oth­ers, ve­hi­cle check-points to en­sure ve­hi­cle and driver fit­ness, speed en­force­ment at all Ha­zloc [High Ac­ci­dents with Fa­tal­i­ties] ar­eas, over­load en­force­ment, en­force mov­ing vi­o­la­tions, road safety aware­ness cam­paigns around pub­lic malls, schools, hos­pi­tals and pub­lic ar­eas around BCM,” said Ng­wenya.

On Fri­day BCM mayor Xola Pakati will of­fi­cially launch the “safety sea­son cam­paign” in the form of a road­block.

Pakati will get a first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the city’s im­ple­mented Au­to­mated Num­ber-plate Recog­ni­tion (ANPR) sys­tem bus, which has re­port­edly as­sisted in the col­lec­tion of out­stand­ing fines, ex­e­cu­tion of out­stand­ing war­rants of ar­rest and the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of traf­fic ticket cases.

“Since the in­tro­duc­tion of the ANPR bus, rev­enue col­lec­tion has im­proved. The pay­ment rate of out­stand­ing traf­fic fines has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly. It has be­come con­ve­nient for mem­bers of the pub­lic when it comes to pay­ing their out­stand­ing fines.

“They no longer have to queue at pay­ment points. They can do so while on the road. This is not only to en­hance rev­enue col­lec­tion but to limit the law­less­ness on the roads and re­duce the car­nage,” Ng­wenya said. —

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