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Traffic fines: Don't be a moron

2014-06-23 09:01

BE AWARE! Traffic fines are about to be doubled - in many cases trebled. Don’t be a moron - save yourself some money. Image: DAVE FALL

DAVE FALL

As a free-spirited driver and biker I’m feeling a little miffed these days.

By now you will have read about the latest round of traffic penalty increases  that are due to come into force. Many current fines are about to be trebled and I find this extremely worrying.

Like you, I don’t have that much disposable income, so I’ve no intention of swelling the province's coffers if I can possibly help it. I intend to do everything in my power to keep it legal.

TWO BAD HABITS

I've already made a conscious effort to really bring my bike (or car) to an absolute ‘stop’ at junctions and at the several rail-crossings in my area, to "look right and left and right again" to ensure the Shosholoza Express isn’t bearing down on me.

Not doing so are just two of the bad habits I’ve acquired down the years.

Trouble is, I’m now scrutinising drivers right and left of me that much more closely and I'm seeing no change to bad driving habits. In the past week I couldn’t help but notice a driving-school car (the instructor alone and probably in a hurry to collect his next learner for a one-hour lesson) wasn’t wearing a seat belt and had his cell phone glued to his ear.

I ‘tooted’ him and got a middle finger for my trouble.

The car tailing me (I’m on my motorcycle and tend to glance in my mirrors far more often that when in a tin box) has no front number plate. It’s certainly not a skedonk, it's a big and new German SUV.

My understanding of the traffic rules gazetted recently intimated that anybody caught without a front plate would be spot-fined and the vehicle’s credentials suspended.

Let’s be honest here, that particular driver almost certainly knew the plate was missing and kept it so to prevent speed-camera pictures coming his/her way. By the same token, there’s little chance of a traffic car pulling over the vehicle…

I travail Cape Town roads from the southern suburbs through to Paarl six days a week – and if I see one traffic car actually cruising the streets to keep us all safe it will be a Frosty Friday.

USE YOUR HANDS-FREE

Most cars made in recent years (even some Chinese cheapies) have Bluetooth technology; most automakers include hands-free devices for their vehicles so there’s no excuse for people talking on a hand-held phone while driving.

And texting is an incredibly dangerous habit.

Talking about built-in safety devices, have you any idea of the greatest safety device fitted to each and every car (and motorcycle)? It’s the rear-view mirror, look in it – as you should do - every 30 seconds or so to see if there's a traffic cop tailing you…

That, my friends, would be the greatest traffic-offence deterrent yet!
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