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May 8th, 2017 by


The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has taken another step back in its battle on illegal fines. The Agency had applied to appeal a recent judgment that scrapped thousands of illegal fines. The Gauteng High Court found that all traffic fines issued since 2008 did not comply with the conditions outlined in the AARTO Act.

Friday saw Judge Bill Prinsloo ruling against the application to appeal, stating that he did not see any other court ruling any differently.

This is a major setback for the agency and a win for motorists in Johannesburg and Pretoria who could be facing thousands in illegal fines.

Read More about contesting an illegal fine below

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Has It Been A Money Making Scheme?

The fining process has been slammed as a money-making scheme and the agency criticised for its methods. AARTO, RTIA, and traffic law enforcement authorities have been accused of using the system as a means to drive revenue budget instead of as a traffic management system.

Should the AARTO Act have been implemented correctly, and the processes followed, this would not have happened. The agency has now wasted time, resources, and millions of Rands in this endeavour.

What Does This Mean For You?

Authorities will soon be stopped from blocking license renewals and the integrity of AARTO will soon be put on the table.

AARTO has been labelled as a total failure and has been called to be scrapped. Following the whole case, Freedom Front Plus MP, Anton Alberts, has commented that it has simply made the roads more unsafe. With motorists unable to effectively defend themselves, they simply turn to ignoring road rules and make it more dangerous.

“As per the judgement, the public now has every right to challenge authorities refusing to renew vehicle and driver’s licences. This judgment is a win for the people and a sign that active citizenry, when applied effectively, holds authorities accountable for unjust actions,” said OUTA Chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

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What Constitutes A Flawed Fine?

The number of illegal fines has not been disclosed. Yet, it is thought to be in the thousands. Johannesburg Metro Police issued 5.3 million traffic fines from 2015 to 2016. Tshwane Metro Police issued  1.1 million in the same period. It is thought that a large percentage of these have been issued illegally.

And, you could be sitting with a few of them!

So, what makes a fine illegal? What do you need to look out for to check if your fine has been issued illegally?

  • The notification of the fine was not issued within 40 days of the alleged transgression;
  • Notices were not sent by registered post or issued to the alleged transgressor in person;
  • Fines referred to the RTIA were not processed;
  • Accused transgressors elected to be tried in court, but the cases were not heard speedily;
  • Transgressors failed to respond to infringement notices and the RTIA failed to issue a courtesy letter within 64 days;
  • Alleged transgressors failed to respond to courtesy letters and the RTIA failed to issue an enforcement order;
  • The RTIA failed to process representations; and
  • The RTIA was inconsistent in its response to similar representations relating to similar circumstances.

 

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  • Peter Mansfield

    Does the same apply in Dyrban and Cape Town?

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Peter, not as yet it seems. We will definitely let you know if that changes!

  • Diane Anderson

    Yes, I would like to know that too. What about Western Province??

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Diane, it doesn’t look like it for now, but if anything changes, we will be sure to give you more information!

  • ks

    if a speeding fine was not issued by registered mail. is this illegal in kzn

  • Francois de Bruyn

    Hi There, My car came from the dealer without a triangle, it went through roadworthy and nothing was said. The Jmpd wrote me a fine for not carrying a emergency triangle, is That legal ?

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Francois,
      We had a look, and legally, you have to carry a triangle at all times.
      Sorry to hear about the fine though!

  • Gwen Palframan

    Does this include fines issued on the scene but not followed up via post???

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Gwen, let us follow up on this and get back to you.

  • Ian Merrifield

    I read somewhere that all speed restricted areas must be gazetted. There are several new 60KmPh sections on our roads. If this is true then fines in these areas are not legal?

  • Wayne

    I received a fine while travelling along the N3 towards Durban and the photo seems like it was taken from on top of a bridge. Is this legal?

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Wayne,
      Yes, this is legal.

  • Dhevan Chetty

    What happens if you were forced to pay ur fine before they allowed you to pay for drivers license application? I had to pay all the fines before they allowed me to pay for my drivers licenser application.

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Dhaven, was this to renew your license? We have been doing some research on this, and just need to make sure.

      • Shelly Topham

        My husband renewed his driver’s license last week Wednesday and they wouldn’t process his driver’s license application until he had paid over R2000 for 3 outstanding fines. As far as I am aware, this is illegal. How would I go about logging a complaint and getting my money back?

      • Dhevan Chetty

        Correct it was to renew my drivers license. they refused to let me pay for the drivers unless i paid all outstanding fines.

  • Wim Grondman

    In Stellenbosch they have these yellow camera boxes that they move around all the time and they then send you an sms that you have fines outstanding but never send the fines in the post, also find that the speed limit changes too much on a particular route so it is very confusing whenever I drive around there

  • Steven

    I recently got a fine for using my cell phone while driving, I know that was stupid of me,but they also confiscated my phone, I had to pay a release fee as well, so my question is, I understand the fine for using the phone, but is it legal for them to take my phone and make me pay again for getting my phone back

    • CompareGuru

      Hi Steven.
      Yes, this is legal. The Western Cape have passed a by-law in which this is possible.
      As far as we know the release fee is around R1100.

    • Magda Matthysen Pretorius

      As mens nie wil hoor nie moet mens voel.

  • Marietta Viljoen

    I have a slightly similar question. I have a very old scooter , not working anymore . I have not renewed the scooter license . I have also already paid for my car’s license but they refused to give me my car disc until I have scrapped the scooter , for which I need the original license paper but as it was bought about 15 years ago , I have no idea where to get it. Can they legally withhold my disc for my car because of red tape on my scooter ?

  • Cpr

    I received a fine in the post with a photo of a car going over the speed limit in bushbuckridge. Never been there, but the registration number is the same as mine . on closer inspection I noticed the gaps between numbers are different. What must I do about this?

    • CompareGuru

      Hi! The best option would be to report this to your local police station.

  • Tobie Joubert

    I have a question I received 2 fines by sms and the one they send the pay date did already expired. I did not received a fine by registered post what do I do?

  • Ian Merrifield

    I asked if all speed restricted areas have to be gazetted or can anyone just put up a 60kph sign where they want? The traffic cops tell me they can fine wherever there is a speed restriction. I know for a fact that one was put up by the local businesses (I am not saying it shouldn’t be there, but do they have the right, and is the fine legal?)

    • Paul Booysen

      All speed zones that are changed, even the temporary ones at roadworks must be published in the government gazette first

  • Aron

    How has it made the roads more unsafe? How has it it caused motorists to be unable to effectively defend themselves?

    • Paul Booysen

      You don’t get your fine in the mail so you don’t even know there is a fine against you. How can you defend yourself if you aren’t even aware of it. When you try and renew your license they tell you eleven months ago you were caught doing 73 in a 60 zone etc. if they did notify you speedily you could’ve defended yourself.

  • Amavel

    Are lazer detector legal? In KZN they say it’s not 😡, but it’s legal for cops to ambush us