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Would you bribe a traffic cop? More than 2000 would...

2015-08-27 11:20

WOULD YOU BRIBE A COP? When asked if readers knew what to do if arrested, more than 1700 respondents voted they would bribe a cop. Image: Arrive Alive

Cape Town - On Wednesday (August 26), Wheels24 published a story regarding road traffic offences asking readers whether they knew their rights if arrested on the road.

Reckless driving and speeding can land you in a jail cell. You could be on the receiving end of a phone call informing you that a friend or family member has been arrested.

Arrive Alive shares insights into what to do if arrested on our roads.

Poll results

We asked readers whether they knew what to do if arrested and a News24 poll garnered more than 16 000 responses:

 • Yes, I know my rights 1484 votes
 • No, I should find out 7571 votes
 • No, but I have a good lawyer 767 votes
 • Bribe my way out? 2014 votes
 • Doesn't matter, justice system is useless 5162 votes

The majority of readers (7571) said that, if arrested, they were unaware of what to do and should find out more information. Only 1484 said they were aware of their rights and 767 said they would rely on a lawyer.

READ: SA traffic offences: What to do if you're arrested

About 12% of respondents (2014) said that, if arrested, they would bribe their way out and 5162 believe the justice system is useless.

If pulled over, you have the right to request the officer’s identity card. If an officer does not present it, they're contravening the Criminal Procedure Act, reports Arrive Alive.

You have the right to be treated with respect contrary to horrifying examples of police brutality in SA.

If arrested, your first call should be to a lawyer and then to a family member. As Van Rensburg said, you will be monitored and what you say or do can be held against you in the event of a court trial.

Arrive Alive editor Johan Jonck said: "I would like to get the message across that we need not be confrontational and never assume the worst of the arresting officer. There are many bad examples but most officers perform the critical task of removing lawless road users from our roads.

"In doing so are they're protecting you and your loved ones. Treat each other with respect and never be confrontational."

Readers' repsonses

Wolraad Woltemade: You are allowed to resist arrest if it is unlawful. Only problem is they have guns, and if no one is there to record the incident, you may end up dead with the "innocent" cops explaining what transpired.

I remember reading somewhere that many years ago, railway police wanted to unlawfully arrest a person. The guy assaulted both policemen and the court found he was within his rights to do so."

Read: Is there ever a good reason to skip a traffic light?

Makhosini Nkosi: I have been observing that people get bail much easier when they 'talk' to the police. Much easier than when you have a lawyer.

Reza Ryklief: OK that's all well and fine, but what about the cases where a policeman unlawfully arrests, assaults and threatens someone for doing absolutely nothing wrong. What do you expect us to do? You know what I'm talking about."

Watch: The reason why taxis disregard the law

Jeremey Thorpe: Even when I'm a bit over the limit, I make a point of driving sensibly - not too fast, not too slow, so I don't attract attention to myself. And so far I've never been arrested. And on the very rare occasions I've been stopped at a roadblock, I've smiled and been polite - and I've been sent politely on my way as a a result! Just don't break the law and usually you'll be OK!

Have you or a family member/friend been arrested for a traffic offence in South Africa? Share your experience with Wheels24.

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Read more on:    arrive alive  |  south africa  |  arrest  |  road safety  |  court  |  police

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