Record fine - but still they die

2011-11-17 14:40

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.

Of course it's not just for the money, is it...?


  • James - 2011-11-17 15:33

    Gone 240k in 72k zone. Been speeding on bikes for 50 yrs,hit once by a woman pulling out of a parking spot, another woman backet up over my parked bike...blame the cagers not the bikers.

      Mike - 2011-11-17 19:40

      As much as I do mot wish it on you, you will no doubt become a statistic eventually with that attitude. Keep it on a track.

      Lourens - 2011-11-18 07:50

      @James, it is guys like you that give us motorcyclists such bad name.

      rlong1952 - 2011-11-18 08:15

      Wow, what a role model!! I suppose you think you are a hero for breaking the law for 50 years and not getting caught? What a doorknob.

      Ryan - 2011-11-22 12:38

      Perhaps you should consider that you've enjoyed 50yrs of luck, James and that it could run out any minute now. And I agree with Lourens, you're giving bikers a bad name.

  • Djim - 2011-11-17 15:43

    Speed do not kill, stopping quikly does!

  • robbie.crouch - 2011-11-17 15:53

    I agree 100%, use more marked cars but keep the unmarked ones as well! Less static speed trapping, more moving violation enforcement!

      Fred - 2011-11-17 19:08

      Way to go. It is about time the authorities clamped down on these morons. They should confiscate the bike and cancel the driver's licence as well.

  • Dank - 2011-11-17 16:30

    "No mercy will be shown to any road user who disobeys the rules of the road." Oh really, unless of course your name is Winnie? What a short-sighted oaf. I think it's time to dethrone this criminal organisation called the ANC.

      Joe-Moer - 2011-11-17 16:49

      Yawn, these anti ANC / Malema / DP tirades are so boring. Every second or third comment on News24 has basically the same theme. zzzZZZzzz

      phillip.havenga - 2011-11-17 21:34

      Joe-Moer if the shoe fits wear it.

  • Andre - 2011-11-17 16:52

    Robbie, U said it, no flashers, stopping / reversing on the highway, crossing barrier lines, traffic lights etc. but then again it hard work isn't it!! Oh and don't forget drive over bikers with a Hummer & they drag their feet, very little action!!

  • Andre - 2011-11-17 16:56

    Oh i forgot to mention, to get caught driving drunk is also a lesser offence than speeding!! Idiots!!

      Eddy - 2011-11-18 07:21

      No Andre you're wrong there, killing a person with a car is a lesser offence than "just speeding for pleasure"

  • therealunskinny - 2011-11-17 18:01

    Pity Brian Ely didn't have a blue light on his bike. Could have done 300kmh sitting on the bike backwards driving on one wheel.

  • Wahl - 2011-11-17 18:23

    This morning on the N1 I took a video of a speeding truck, going straight past the cops at New Road. Is it OK for a speeding MEC to knock a child of his motorbike, that person has not been charged or fined yet. It is pure money making and they choose easy targets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKslQHyc4ao&feature=feedu

  • Willem - 2011-11-17 20:23

    We have been brain washed into believing speed is a greater sin than murder. If the traffic is light what is wrong in enjoying yourself? But the law? I think if the Metro collections services consentrates on people skipping stop signs and traffic light the accidents will come down so will collections. So where do you think they (the cops) are going to consentrate. Mr Else in future check the road for the robbers and then blast it. Your Kawa can certainly go 300, luckly they did not catch you then. I think potholes is a much bigger crime and so is the blue light bregade bumping people out of the way. On a open road, with no or little traffic, enjoy it. Our club has felt it, and the other have not, perhaps it is something other will miss for ever. The magistrate, who thinks he is a hero, should think about it, because someone can shoot the cop and get off on a lighter fine.

      Lesley - 2011-11-17 23:00

      So with your reasoning Willem, speeding is okay due to the fact that cops are turning to speedsters for revenue purposes and the cops must therefore be outrun? You have an interesting take on things; however flawed. Speeding is not okay, endangering the lives of others is not okay, breaking the law is not okay. Someone else's bad behaviour is not justification for you to do the same. In fact, set an example of how to be a law-abiding person and others may emulate you.

      Wally - 2011-11-18 05:11

      Willem, we have enough rogues in our country for anyone to advocate along the lines you do. Show some common sense. One wrong does not give the right to an even greater wrong, although that's the way the world seems to feed on. I agree that the emphasis has been incorrectly placed on speed over decades, not just now. If only the moving violations are properly policed - e.g. barrier lines, unsafe to pass, taxi/buses' behaviour in general, stop street/robot controlled intersections - the coffers will still be filled, frustration will decrease and definitely road deaths and injuries will be reduced. Yes, the potholes are major issues as are the blue light brigades and this is a battle we have to fight vigorously by exposing these incidents and know that through perseverance there will be progress; someone has to understand the problem eventually one day and acknowledge it. The magistrate is a judicial officer of our country, someone who has to deal with offenders brought before him/her. It is not about being a hero. I can promise you that if you shoot a cop you will not even receive a fine but go to prison, my friend. The law itself attempts to be bring justice; is justice always fair? Oh no, it can and never will always be fair. In this instance you cannot blame the police/the law/the magistrate - the rider knew the consequences if caught. That the emphasis is incorrect is something completely different. Plz drive/ride safely; there r clueless ppl driving slow and fast alike.

  • Russell - 2011-11-18 06:14

    "But still they die" is the editor mentioning Taxis or Bikes, which one is it.All do have accidents and die, but by far more taxi occupants are killed in a single month or even day!!Stupid article and biased. What the authorities are misseing is that whilst they are sitting on there fat backsides with there favourite toy, a camera, within a 5km radius there are violent house robberies going on, Rapes, Illegal taxis that have been welded together driving and most of all these cops illegally hiding up trees and in bushes trapping!! ONCE AGAIN THATS NOT PREVENTING SPEED OR ACCIDENTS.PUT UP CAMERAS PAINTED BRIGHT YELLOW SO THEY CAN BE SEEN, PUT UP LOTS OF THEM,this way motorists will "see" them and correct their speed.

  • Trevor - 2011-11-18 06:53

    OMG...the comments to the same lame ass articles that vomit the same old stories week in week out, year in year out...20 people die in TAXI accidents in one go...makes news....Biker caught speeding...makes HEADLINE NEWS,cops commenting, Magistrate commenting...etc...this is AFRICA..NOTHING WILL CHANGE so get over it...government/cops will always just focus on speeding as a revenue...Government/cops will punt this Arrive Alive bull & EVERY YEAR the death rate will increase as it has for over 10 years...we will always hear of "ZERO TOLLERANCE"...especially in the biggest joke of SA..Kwazulu Natal with still the highest road accident rate...bla bla bla....point is, when you get onto the road be aware, unfortunately you can whine and whine and whine, when you hit the tar, you have an excellent chance of getting hurt/dieing.....so give the "Biker Hate" a rest.

  • Graham.Cooper2 - 2011-11-18 07:28

    If you are a real man come to a race track. Firstly is a hell of a lot safer and secondly their one can see and measure your riding standards against other riders. There you will find out what real men are made of.

      Russell - 2011-11-18 08:04

      Ag really Graham, what a chop you are with that manly comment!

  • Ig - 2011-11-18 07:58

    “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.” Yes, minister, I hope your words count for the blue-light brigade also!~~

      branden.hart - 2011-11-18 09:08

      And what happens if you hit a kid on a motorbike and then flee the scene (for your own protection of course!!)

  • VWhitepaw - 2011-11-18 08:29

    This company called "traffic department" is not there for law enforcement but to make money. One of their heads stated that they don't make enough profit and wanted to increase the fines. I've also seen over the years, speed is being targeted more and more while other traffic violations are ignored. This includes driving on the side of the road, skipping red robots and much more. This happens in front of the traffic departments. Let them stand between 6 and 8 in the morning at the cornet of Witkoppen and Main in Fourways and watch how many traffic violations happens. And this is not even the worse corner.

      VWhitepaw - 2011-11-18 08:34

      And remember, the traffic department is not above the law, they have to listen to the same laws we have to. However, as the magistrate said “because of an emergency”. This is the only time that a law may be broken. In other words, Traffic officers must stop at red robots and keep to the speed limit also. Even though they are in an emergency vehicle with blue lights. They may dive over are red robot or dive faster than the speed limit in an emergency.

  • reinob - 2011-11-18 09:25

    Speed limits is supposed to be there for the safety of all. Im not saying that 200km/h is the way to go, but a bike doing 120 along with other cars on the road is dangerous. People don't see bikes. So you cant be in between them. You need to get in front. That means breaking the speed limit... It is in my opinion. Trucks Buses and public transport should have limit of 100km/h. Cars 120 and Bikes 130. I will happily stick to 130 on my bike...

  • Jango - 2011-11-18 16:38

    If they put this much effort into catching sleezy government officials with their hands in the till, I would be happy. Instead, fortunes get spent on undercover mobile cameras and fast spy cars. The excuse: speed kills, costing the country millions. How about some under cover high-speed, anti-fraud processing - and save the country billions.

  • Deon - 2011-11-24 19:55

    We must all obey the road rules and especially the speed limit, because its very dangerous and kills people. HOORAY! Of course unroadworthy vehicles and wreckless driving are not dangerous. Nor are people who "legally" speed and drive dangerously because they are late getting to a tea party. How many big fines have been reported where people drive on the pavements, use the emergency lane illegally or ignore road signs and traffic light?????

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