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Sky-high traffic fines: Readers respond

2014-06-11 09:38

BIGGER FINES, FEWER DEATHS? The Western Cape transport and public works folk believe much steeper traffic fines (from August 2014) will curb irresponsible driving and further reduce road deaths. Image: Wheels24 / Marcel Trout

CAPE TOWN - On Tuesday (June 11 2014) Wheels24 reported that traffic fines in the Western Cape will increase considerably from August 2014.

Donald Grant, provincial minister for transport and public works, reported that as part of the department’s “Winter Blitz” programme traffic fines would in some cases triple in an attempt to curb irresponsible driving.

According to the department: “The threat of these fines will no doubt deter drivers from engaging in irresponsible and dangerous behaviour."

Many Wheels24 readers responded with comments ranging from “another toothless act” to calls for "better enforcement of existing laws". Here are some of the dozens we received:


Malcolm MacLeod said: “Why would people obey the rules of the road if the only one that is enforced is speeding? These penalty increases just show more of the same attitude from the Western Cape traffic authorities who are clearly without any clue of how todo their jobs properly.”

Clinton said: “One in 10 fines is actually paid since AARTO was initroduced. Until they start applying the law correctly people will still refuse to pay. Increasing the fines will just mean the generally law-abiding 10% will pay more while the other 90% will continue ignoring the fines... along with their e-toll accounts.

DavidD said: “And you get bail for R500 on a murder charge?”

Wayneku: “They didn't get you with E-tolls but they got you in the end Cape Town."

Jason Hepple: “Makes no sense increasing fines if the traffic police don’t have the manpower to collect fines. Another toothless act!”

André Pretorius: “So an unroadworthy bus or minibus will be given a fine and then be sent on its  merry way to collect and deliver more passengers? Nice one, whoever thought this out.”

Mamakgothatso Mamushi: “Minister please stop putting money as a solution, people will bribe until Jesus comes back. You are saying you will increase fines and stay in your comfortable house not doing follow-ups or visit a taxi rank once a month to hear what passengers need. Do your job rather than directing.”

Some readers suggested alternative methods of traffic prosecution:

Ryan Brewster: “I like the Swiss way, where traffic fines are based on your income. That will change behaviour very quickly. Fine a clerk R1000 and he will consider driving his Toyota a little better. Fine a managing director R1000 and he will laugh it off and continue to drive his BMW like an absolute a-hole.

“The Swiss system makes sure everyone feels the fine and thereby makes them at least think twice before driving recklessly.”

Nazeem Hartley Jumbo: “This is just another way of ripping us off. Alcohol is responsible for most deaths, crashes and reckless driving on our roads. Why don't you ban alcohol completely then the roads will be safer. Stop taking from us.”

Garreth Eduard Rosenberg: “Regulation or legislation is not the problem. We have so much legislation... enforcement is the problem. The officials are pathetic when it comes to enforcing the law.

“If there can be more officials during rush hour at main intersections that will make a difference but there is no visibility so taxis are the No.1 culprits and driving with no number plates is very common. Lack of visible enforcement is the problem.”

Some readers suggested targeting corrupt cops and irresponsible taxi drivers:

Ashwin Davids: “So why the hell don’t we see officials taking on the taxi drivers? These guys drive like they own the freaking roads. The government can’t seem to handle them. I have no complaints about the fines but then be fair and have everybody play by the same rules.

“Lots of these taxis are unroadworthy but they're still on the roads.”

Robin Moir: “I find it rather informative that most of the comments on here are about bad policing/enforcement but nobody seems to be saying that it is not the cops' fault but it is all the drivers' fault.

“Why is it that in this country we feel that laws don't apply to us, or that unless we are caught we are not breaking the law?”


Arthur Salvado: “Of course the bribes now become bigger. It's a win-win for our corrupt cops. Viva.”

Kevin Grinaker: “Have a chat with the AA, Minister Grant. I think you will find that they are very qualified in what needs to be done with regard to sorting out the mess on our roads. Take their advice, please. The speed issue, along with the Arrive Alive! campaign has failed dismally in combating road deaths over the years that it has been active.”

Kevin Marsh: “Leave the fines and put the bloody cops on the road to instil discipline. In Joburg taxis drive outrageously and use turn only lanes to go straight. Drivers who let them do this are contributing to lawlessness and then these taxis go on the open road and think they can still do what they want.

“Zero tolerance starts with taxis. JMPD are never seen at peak hours. Let’s see JMPD at the intersection of Jan Smuts and Bompas.”

Click here for a full list of the traffic fine increases.
Click here to read the full Western Cape law offence code (pre-August 2014 increase)

More reader responses:
Reader: Traffic fine increase 'pointless'
Traffic fine increases 'a rip-off'

What do you think of the proposed fine increases? Do you think they will deter irresponsible drivers? What do you think should be
done to curb road deaths?
Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

Will traffic fine increases in the Western Cape curb irresponsible driving? Have your say in our home page voting booth!

Read more on:    cape town  |  traffic fines  |  readers

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