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Record fine - but still they die

2011-11-17 14:40

R22 000 GONE IN A FLASH: Blurring the scenery just got a lot more expensive – avoid Krugersdorp!

Gauteng motorcyclist Brian Ely has become the new poster-boy deterrent to excessive speed - R44 000 for doing 206km/h on a freeway posted with a maximum speed of 120km/h.

He was caught on camera on a Kawasaki on the N14 between Muldersdrift and Zwartkops, north-west of Johannesburg, by the Gauteng High Speed Unit using an unmarked car – the fine the highest yet recorded by the unit for such an offence.


Ely, 32, appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court yesterday (November 16, 2011) and pleaded guilty to exceeding the speed limit a month earlier. Half of the penalty was suspended for three years; he has six months to pay the R22 000.

You could say Ely, an accountant, was lucky. The magistrate who imposed the fine told Wheels24 the maximum penalty was R120 000. Asked why he had imposed such a high penalty, the magistrate said: “The speed was too excessive. Such people do not go so fast because of an emergency, but purely for joy.”

The Johannesburg Star reported today that the high-speed unit, in operation since 2009, arrested three drivers recently who, together, were fined a total of R58 000.

“We welcome the R44 000 fine imposed by the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court,” transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele. “No mercy will be shown to any road user who disobeys the rules of the road.”


Ndebele’s crackdown might be raking in money, but it isn’t affecting the road crime rate; 20 people died in one crash in the Karoo this week involving two long-distance taxis; a taxi driver is on trial in Cape Town regarding the deaths of 10 schoolchildren on a rail crossing.

The death toll grows daily but the only answer the state seems to have is that of increased penalties. The real answer, however, is education; put the reality of road deaths in full colour on TV to bring home the true cost; make taxi owners personally financially responsible for their drivers’ transgressions; increase the traffic cop presence on the roads to deter speeding.

Just think: Ely was already committing the crime and, perhaps, could have caused an horrendous accident. Had a marked police car been in the area he wouldn’t have been speeding in the first place.

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