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Reckless driver sentenced to 2 yrs or R10 000 fine: 'Strong message' for SA?

2017-07-25 08:39

Image: iStock

Pretoria - The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has welcomed a sentence handed down by the Cullinan magistrate court; the court sentenced driver Olayori Abdul Bakare to two years imprisonment or accept a fine of R10 000. 

Bakare was arrested in 2012 for reckless and negligent driving along Moloto drive in Pretoria.

'A strong message to motorists'

The organisation said: "The Road Traffic Management Corporation has welcomed the sentence handed down to a motorist found guilty of reckless, negligent and inconsiderate driving.

"The Cullinan magistrate court sentenced Olayori Abdul Bakare to two years imprisonment or accept a fine of R10 000. His driver's licence was suspended for a period of five years. The convicted Bakare was arrested for reckless and negligent driving on the notorious Moloto Road in December 2012.

"In sentencing Bakare the court noted that many people have lost their lives on Moloto road and driver misbehaviour cannot be tolerated. The RTMC believes that this sentence will send a strong message to motorists who continue disregarding the rules of road."

"The courts need to hand down stiff sentences regularly to reinforce the message of zero tolerance to inconsiderate and reckless driving. Too many South Africans die needlessly on the road because of the unacceptable negligent conduct of some drivers."

What do you think of the sentence? Does it send a 'strong' enough message to reckless drivers? Email us


Image: Arrive Alive

Justice Project South Africa responds

Howard Dembovsky, Chairman of the Justice Project South Africa, said: "I find it peculiar, to say the least, that the RTMC feels it newsworthy to express their pleasure at the fact that Olayori Abdul Bakare has been sentenced to a fine of R10 000 or a term of imprisonment of two years for 'reckless, negligent and inconsiderate driving'.

Dembovsky lists some high-profile cases:

 • In January 2014, Steve Hofmeyr was convicted in the Bronkhorstspruit Regional Court for speeding. His fine was R10 000 but the “option” of a term of imprisonment, as well as the mandatory suspension of his driving licence was avoided by a plea agreement.
  • In December 2016, Sthembiso Xolani Ntombela was convicted for speeding in the Hibberdene Magistrate Court. His fine was R40 000 and his driving licence was suspended for twelve months. No mention has been made in the media regarding a term of imprisonment in lieu of the fine, but all sentences in criminal matters where a fine is imposed include a term of imprisonment as an alternative.
  • In February 2017, a  taxi driver was convicted for reckless or negligent driving in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates’ Court, Cape Town. He was sentenced to a R10 000 fine or 200 days in prison plus R1000 for being an unlicensed driver.

He continues: "I find it even more peculiar that the RTMC feels that this sentence 'will send a strong message to motorists who continue disregarding the rules of road', given the fact that it is neither an extraordinary nor an uncommon sentence for this offence. If anything, it is a lesser sentence than has been handed down in countless other cases.

"What would send a 'strong message' in serious road traffic offences, and if circumstances permit, would be if imprisonment without the option of a fine were to be handed down as a sentence." 

Image: iStock

Arrive Alive weighs in

Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck: "Unfortunately the media release does not tell us more about the offence. We are well aware that all aggravating and mitigating circumstances need to be considered before sentencing - but a R10 000 penalty does not appear to be a sentence that would be a 'strong' message to other road users...

"To reduce carnage we need not only strict and visible enforcement but also tough penalties for reckless and lawless road users!"


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