Wednesday, February 10, 2016

South Africans are infamous for flouting traffic laws and not obeying the rules of the road.

During Easter 2013, more than 79 000 traffic fines were issued. Over and above this, 1039 licenses were suspended, 1024 vehicles were impounded and 864 motorists were arrested for drunk driving.

Over the same period this year, according to the Department of Transport, an astounding 43 433 notices were issued, 1457 vehicles were impounded and 330 motorists were arrested for drunk driving.

According to Martin Janse van Rensburg, spokesperson for Budget Insurance, “Due to our busy and financially demanding lives, paying traffic fines are often not a priority. Many people often think that if they ignore a fine or a summons to appear in court, the fine will magically disappear!”

Janse van Rensburg stresses that ignoring a speeding fine can have severe consequences and could result in you spending a weekend in jail or not being able to register a new vehicle.

The Administration Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is currently in the process of being phased in by the Department of Transport. So, if you receive an AARTO 03 infringement notice (camera fine) delivered to you by registered mail only, you have 32 days to receive a 50% discount. However, if you don’t pay then you lose the discount and have to pay a further R60 for a letter, which will give you another 30 days to pay your fine.

If you still don’t pay your fine, an Enforcement Order will be issued against you, which will cost you an additional R60, and will block all licensing transactions on eNatis. This means that you won’t be able to register a new vehicle, renew your license disc or driver’s license.  

“AARTO also allows for a warrant of execution to be issued which allows the Sheriff to come and take your belongings in order to sell them and recoup the money for your fine,” says Janse van Rensburg.  

If you receive an ‘old school’ traffic fine under the Criminal Procedure Act by mail and don’t pay immediately, a summons will be served to you. If you ignore the summons and fail to appear in court, you can get arrested on a warrant of arrest.

You can avoid this happening with the new Fines Protect service from Budget Insurance, which monitors and checks for fines on a frequent basis and proactively notifies you of any outstanding fines. This will also assist with getting discounts on new fines and provides easy payment facilities.

“It’s best to take responsibility for your actions on the road and pay your tickets timeously - or simply obey the rules of the road,” concludes Janse van Rensburg.

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