Johannesburg – Earlier in 2012, we reported that only a tiny percentage of Gautengers pay their traffic penalties. The annual report of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) revealed that drivers on the national contraventions register owe R1.6-billion in traffic penalties issued in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros.Now it seems Gauteng drivers may as well trash their traffic *fines as the city of Johannesburg ditches any court summons issued since December 22 2012.The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has suspended the posting of all courtesy letters requesting for payment of traffic violations, The Star reports.'NOT A SINGLE COURTESY LETTER SENT'In terms of legislation, the RTIA has to send letters by registered mail. If court summons are not paid, the RTIA should send out a notice of enforcement order, also by registered mail, informing the driver that failure to pay will be registered on the eNatis system against the driver’s identity number.Drivers will then be unable to perform any transactions with any vehicle until the infringement notice is paid.The letters should also coincide with the issuing a warrant against the driver's movable property to recover the money once the National Contravention Register has been fully developed. However, at this stage. the driver has not been found guilty by a magistrate.According to The Star, RTIA has not sent a single courtesy letter since January 2013, meaning that no further action can be taken against offending drivers.This means the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) is wasting a possible R7.9-million a month sending letters by registered letters which are seldom collected. Not to mention that traffic officers are wasting their time issuing notice of prosecution.According to the JMPD, 450 000 letters are sent by registered mail monthly, at a cost of R7.9m.ONLY 10% OF DRIVERS COUGHED UPFor 18 months before December 22, the JMPD was sending tickets by ordinary mail. The Road Traffic Management Corporation and drivers rightly slammed this practice as illegal. Since then it has been forced to use registered mail at a cost of R20 per letter. The Star reports that since January 2013, 10% of drivers have paid penalties. Since resuming registered mail in December 22 2012, about 1.48 million letters have been sent fruitlessly - another R30-million wasted.RTIA spokesman Mthunzi Mbungwana said: “In the event that courtesy letters are sent and not collected due to strike action at the post office, an enforcement order is authorised, resulting in all eNatis transactions being blocked, such as the renewal of driving licence cards, motor vehicle licence discs and professional driving permits, causing the infringer unnecessary economic harm, especially fleet owner vehicles, and inconvenience.Again, nobody has been found guilty of anything.“These challenges have resulted in the Road Traffic Infringement Agency taking a decision to suspend the issuing of courtesy letters to an infringer until such time that the SA Post Office has given confirmation of an improved delivery of courtesy letters and service levels.”NOT THE FIRST BLUNDERThis is not the first time this has happened as earlier in 2009, more than R100m worth of summonses issued under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, were cancelled as they were issued illegally.*Traffic officials cannot issues fines. They issues notices of prosecution to which you have to appear and have the opportunity to contest it. If deemed guilty you will be issued fined or given some other penalty according to the circumstances of or seriousness of the offence. Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24!