Metro in hot water over fines debacle

MOTORISTS BEWARE: Smart cameras like this are ‘watching’ how you drive. Picture: Werner Hills/Die Burger/News24

A scramble to enforce thousands of outstanding traffic fines after an alleged glitch in registering speed cameras in Nelson Mandela Bay has left the municipality’s traffic department at the centre of a police probe.

This follows claims that the locations of speeding violations listed on traffic fines were unlawfully altered to include a wider stretch of road to secure the legality of the citations.

Thousands of fines dating back to January 2015 had been withdrawn by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s traffic department since November, with claims that it failed to register specific speed camera locations with the director of public prosecutions (DPP) given as the reason for the recall.

These fines were later reinstated by the traffic court in Sidwell with a larger stretch of the road listed on the new citations.

Weekend Post has seen thousands of the fines – with the originals all stamped “withdrawn” – where the location of the alleged offences were expanded to include a longer stretch of road on the updated citations.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg confirmed a case had been opened by Pieter Swanepoel, of Traffic Violation Specialists. Janse van Rensburg said after traffic officials allegedly realised the cameras were placed at the wrong locations, they withdrew the charges but then reinstated them.

“It would appear the traffic department decided to re-issue the fines which had been withdrawn earlier. The location where the alleged offence was committed and its addresses were later changed,” she said.

The alleged glitch deals with fines captured between January 2015 and November last year, involving more than 25 000 fines – ranging from R500 to R1 000.

Janse van Rensburg said the matter was under investigation. Locations of speed cameras have to be approved by the DPP as stipulated by road traffic management corporation guidelines.

Hendrick Mphande

Full story in Weekend Post today.

 

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