“Camera violations are meant to be reviewed by a traffic officer before being issued to prevent this kind of error. JPSA no longer has confidence that these reviews are being done properly, or indeed at all, which raises the greater question of what levels of oversight exist in traffic law enforcement,” he concluded.
A warning has been issued to motorists by Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) with the organisation saying they are aware of ‘capture errors’ causing motorists to be incorrectly charged with infringements and criminal offences they didn’t commit.
JPSA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky said: “In one recent case, a motorist faced a criminal charge because the location of the infringement was incorrectly recorded.
“In that instance, the motorist was on a freeway, travelling at 134km/h in a 120km/h zone and should have received an infringement notice for exceeding the 120km/h limit by 14km/h.
“The image shows his vehicle on the freeway. However, the location at which the violation was alleged to have occurred was given as an urban road several kilometres away, in an 80km/h zone.
“Using the incorrect location, the motorist was no longer alleged to have been just 14km/h over the speed limit, but a massive 54km/h over it.
“Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h in an urban area is automatically classified as a criminal offence and triggers a mandatory court appearance,” Dembovsky said.
He says it is essential for the authorities to record the location of an alleged violation accurately, to prevent “spurious criminal charges” and to ensure that ” genuine traffic offenders are brought to book.”
There has been a chorus of concerns from many sectors in the road and traffic industry. The Road Freight Association (RFA) said that it would be “reckless and irresponsible” for the government to forge ahead with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, set to start in July.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the introduction of the demerit system which would see drivers lose their licences if they accumulated a lot of traffic fines is going ahead,
The new demerit system will be implemented in three phases. If your demerit points exceed the maximum 15 points, a person will be disqualified from driving or using the vehicle for a period of time of three months for every point exceeding 15 points.
Offences and infringements range between six and one.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)