R1bn Jozi traffic fines blunder
COST CUTTING EXERCISE: Sending traffic infringment notices via surface mail renders them invalid.
The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) could cost the city about R1-billion because it hasn't followed Aarto regulations, The Star newspaper has reported.
Since June 2010 the JMPD has been sending infringement notices to vehicle owners by letter post instead of by registered mail. That makes them invalid.
Section 30 of the amended Administration Adjudication of Road traffic Offences (Aarto) Act stipulates that infringement notices (notices of intention to prosecute) must be served personally or be sent by registered mail to the last known address of a person who has allegedly infringed the law.
The JMPD, however, continued to send notices by normal mail to save money.
Director Gerrie Gerneke was quoted as saying that postage of R18 per notice for registered mail was too expensive for the JMPD; close to 430 000 infringement notices were sent each month which translates to roughly 5.16 million notices a year. At R18 a notice per registered mail, this would amount to more than R92-million a year in postage fees.
Spokesman Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told the newspaper that the department had been sending notices by letter mail because offenders receiving registered mail had not been aware they were getting traffic notices.