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May 25th, 2017 by


We all know that different traffic infringements come with different fines – but did you know your fine can also depend on your location?

Due to crackdowns on province-specific road accident issues, various local governments deal with lawbreakers in different ways.

The most notable difference is the cost of fines in the Western Cape versus other areas in the country.

In 2014, the Western Cape approved a sharp increase in traffic fines – with some fines even doubling in cost. 

Not every province followed suit, however.

Car Insurance Comparison7 - Western Cape vs Joburg: Traffic Fine Costs Will Shock You

For example, the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane municipalities follow the fine costs outlined by the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO), established in 2008.

The rest of the country follows the offences outlined in the Criminal Procedure Act. 

The Western Cape, however, implemented its own Traffic Law Enforcement Offence Code Book.

CompareGuru took a look at the fines under the Western Cape system and the AARTO system, to see just how much they differ.

We gathered the most expensive fines for traffic infringements in the province and found the equivalent AARTO offence.

The differences became apparent very quickly, with Western Cape fines often being double or triple the AARTO equivalent.

The most expensive fine in the Western Cape is R5000, while in Tshwane and Johannesburg it is R1500.

Read More about how fines in Joburg and Tswane are being scrapped below

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Understanding The Fines

You might be a bit confused as to what the differences are between some of the fines. 

Highest fine for exceeding maximum axle massload, for example, refers to the amount carried on each portion of a truck. Trucks are usually weighed and should one of the trailers be overweight, they will be fined for it. 

Maximum fine for overweight vehicle refers to a vehicle being used for commercial purposes being overweight. This could be a taxi or an obviously overloaded bakkie. 

In Cape Town, a fine received for having no roadworthy certificate for the vehicle will be given when the driver fails to produce any certificate. If the vehicle is found to be obviously unroadworthy, despite the certificate, the fine will hop up to R3000. Should the driver continue to drive the vehicle, despite the unroadworthy notice, there will be an additional R3500 fine.  

Should you be found driving without a license, the fine is R2000 in Cape Town and  R1250 in Johannesburg. However, should you be driving a truck, bus or commercial vehicle without the relevant papers, the fine jumps up to R3000 and R1250 respectively. 

Different Provinces, Different Priorities?

The priority of the fine levels do somewhat correlate between the Western Cape and the AARTO equivalent, but that’s where it ends! 

There are significant discrepancies. For example, most R2 000 WC fines are typically R750 under AARTO.

But for the infringement ‘driving without consideration for other road users’, the fine is R250 under AARTO. It is R2 000 in the WC!

Driving without a license is also more frowned upon in Tshwane and Johannesburg if traffic fine tiers are taken into consideration.

Under AARTO, driving without a license has a maximum fine of R1 250 (among the highest fines for the municipalities). In the Western Cape, the infringement has a maximum fine of R2 000 (among the lower fine costs for the province).

Unroadworthy vehicles are also especially clamped down on in the Western Cape, with local government blaming these vehicles for many accidents – especially in the public transport sector.

Driving an unroadworthy vehicle carries a fine of R3000 in the province. Under AARTO the maximum fine for an unroadworthy vehicle is a third of the Western Cape fine’s cost.

On one side of the debate are those that find the province’s legislation unfair and costly. There are, however, also those who support the higher fine costs.

After all, you only get the fines if you break the law. These people view the higher fines as a deterrent. It makes reckless drivers think twice about being impatient and overtaking that truck in a restricted zone.

Where do you stand? Let us know in the comments below…

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  • Mikha’il Hathey

    Why are Western Capes Traffic fines so ridiculously expensive???

    • Mandi

      The traffic cops want to bling with the top of the range cars, the latest models all the time. Who are they competing or racing against on the road, no body knows.

  • Hugo Lombaard

    Increase fines drastically and enforce the law and SA will be a better place.

  • Ashley Crookes

    I actually think this is good. I’m sick of seeing signs in KZN saying “Speeding Kills”. That’s crap. Reckless people and reckless driving kill people. I think unroadworthy vehicles should be fined AND should be impounded. Get rid of “speed” cameras, and have cameras observing roads and police that actually arrest people for bad driving THEN and only then will we start seeing less problems on our roads. Go Western Cape, raise the prices!

    • Mandi

      I support the price raise but it only do little to keep the roads safe. Wreckless drivers never cease to break the law it does not matter how hefty the penalties are. The money collected goes to the traffic budgets n most of it I suspect goes to the bonuses and the blings cars that the traffic cops drive. We have N2(most vital route that connects CBD and Airport) it is as dangerous as a rural road without street lights. That riute should be the safest but uts nt. Maybe they must change their name from law enforcement/traffic cops to Fines officers. That’s what they do better, issuing fines that enforcing the law.

      • Ashley Crookes

        Too true. Enforcement is actually what we need. Cops do like their ticket books though!

      • Benita Jean Aspeling

        If you have driven in Gauteng, Natal, and Western Cape, you will notice that drivers obey the law far more in the Western Cape. In Gauteng and KZN if you get a fine its not a big deal if you dont pay it, often noone follows up anyway. In Western Cape you get an sms about it and you are warned about legal action if you dont pay. In general, it kind of makes you more likely to follow the rules.

        • Mandi

          I would like to differ a bit. Western Cape drivers are the worst according to my experience. Motorists in WC are not considerate drivers at all, I will make an example. In other big cities,it is very rare to see a motorist driving slow on the fast lane while there is two more empty slow lanes on the road. It is more of an attitude than it is about lack of driving experience. Traffic Authorities ignore certain roads and the chaos that erupts in those areas is far more worse than those experienced in remote towns where there is no enough human resources.
          Big cars and more big cars, but hold on, not just big cars but latest top of the range cars for WC traffic cops. that is where their focus is on…

          • Benita Jean Aspeling

            I would like to differ as well. In other provinces you dont get cars stopping to let others in the way they do in WC. The only problem is that people are more relaxed and so they drive slower. That is the biggest reason for slow people on the fast lane. In Gauteng if you want to stick to the 120km/h limit stay out of the fast lane because everyone else is going 160. Thats not necessarily a good thing. I agree it is most irritating, but that doesnt mean the people are speeding or being reckless by going 100 in the fast lane.

      • Mary Hinge

        “Wreckless” drivers are obviously doing something right. 🙂

        • Mandi

          Nope. In every space occupied by humans and there is poor or lack lawe enforcement there is always chaos. We are the worst species on earth. lol