When planning your budget for this festive season, best you keep some money aside in case you need it for the sky-high new traffic fines Buffalo City Metro unleashes on its citizens today.
If caught using a cellphone while driving, instead of a R200 fine you’ll now pay R1500, and if found driving without a driver’s licence you’ll also pay R1500, this time up from R500.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya told the Daily Dispatch yesterday that the new increases were recently approved by the East London Magistrate’s Court and the implementation of the increases came just in time for the festive season.
Ngwenya said the new prices were in line with national trends.
The fine for driving a heavy motor vehicle without a driver’s licence has gone from R2000 R2500.
Ngwenya said an “inconsiderate driving” fine would now cost drivers R2000 from R1500.
He explained inconsiderate driving as “when a motorist changes lanes in front of you without indicating or has bad driving habits that might lead to accidents.
Not complying with the direction of a “Stop” sign has increased from R750 to R1500, while not complying with a traffic light instruction goes from R1000 to R1500.
If you are in a 60km speed limit zone and caught driving over 90km/h you will now pay a R1200 fine, and if you are in a zone with a 90km speed limit, and caught driving at 111+ km/h the price has increased from R200 to R800.
“Number plates not affixed to motor vehicles [will cost from] R300 [to] R1000, operating a vehicle with a damaged tyre [from] R200 [to] R500 and conveying too many people in a minibus taxi [has increased from] R200 [to] R1000,” said Ngwenya.
The metro will be working with the South African Police Service and provincial traffic officers to ensure the new fines are enforced.
Transport provincial spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie said the department was in support of the increases.
“As the department we welcome the increases. People must feel it in their pockets and the law needs to be enforced too.
“We appeal to the magistrates because that is where people appeal when they get these fines,” said Rantjie, who added that these fines were applicable to BCM and could vary in other municipalities in the province.
In addition to the increased charges, Ngwenya said road users need to take care while on the roads and should not:
lDrive vehicles while under the influence of liquor or drugs;
l Indulge in reckless or negligent driving;
lExceed the speed limit;
lIndulge in distractive driving, which includes speaking on cellphones and texting while driving;
l Allow children younger than six years to occupy the front passenger seat; and
lStart the engine until everyone in it was buckled up.
“There will be spontaneous and roving roadblocks at strategic areas around BCM. These will include, amongst others, vehicle check-points to ensure vehicle and driver fitness, speed enforcement at all Hazloc [High Accidents with Fatalities] areas, overload enforcement, enforce moving violations, road safety awareness campaigns around public malls, schools, hospitals and public areas around BCM,” said Ngwenya.
On Friday BCM mayor Xola Pakati will officially launch the “safety season campaign” in the form of a roadblock.
Pakati will get a first-hand experience of the city’s implemented Automated Number-plate Recognition (ANPR) system bus, which has reportedly assisted in the collection of outstanding fines, execution of outstanding warrants of arrest and the finalisation of traffic ticket cases.
“Since the introduction of the ANPR bus, revenue collection has improved. The payment rate of outstanding traffic fines has increased significantly. It has become convenient for members of the public when it comes to paying their outstanding fines.
“They no longer have to queue at payment points. They can do so while on the road. This is not only to enhance revenue collection but to limit the lawlessness on the roads and reduce the carnage,” Ngwenya said.