Motorists owe millions in fines
Uphill battle to tame errant drivers
CAPE Town motorists ran up fines totalling R176 million in the first six months of the financial year to the end of August.
Richard Bosman, executive director of Safety and Security, said that while law enforcement units were trying to tame lawlessness on the roads, there was an outstanding bill of R771m racked up from the previous financial year.
Their efforts included operations throughout the city on an ad hoc basis and planned roadblocks.
The City is seeking four of the five motorists with the highest number of outstanding warrants.
The fifth, a man from Elsies River, is out on bail after he was tracked down last week. The other four faced:
52 warrants valued at R64 400.
51 warrants valued at R54 450.
47 warrants valued at R62 020.
47 warrants valued at R48 900.
In the first fortnight of this month, 153 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and one was also nabbed for speeding, Bosman said. The fines would be announced at the end of this month. Between September 1 and 12, a total of 100 vehicles were impounded.
Meanwhile, the City has raised various concerns about the application of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) system, which has come under the spotlight again after being passed in Parliament last week. It had been tabled by the national Department of Transport in 2015.
Bosman questioned the sys- tem’s effectiveness and functional viability.
“Aarto’s stated aim is to reduce fatalities and accidents on our roads.
“No one can argue with that, but in order to do that the system must be able to be applied in its entirety. This is not the case at the moment and it could lead to an even lower level of accountability for errant motorists.”
Warwick Scott-Rodger, executive head of Dialdirect Insurance, explained the demerit system. Each driver started with zero points, and each violation of traffic law came with a specific number of points. “Reach 12 points and your licence could be suspended. Get three suspensions and your licence will be cancelled.”
Scott-Rodger said that with the creation of a national road traffic offences register, every driver’s infringements would be recorded.
There would be a special appeals tribunal for motorists with grievances.
The tribunal’s decisions could be appealed in the High Court.
Traffic clogs a city highway.