When they wrote your traffic fine, did they do so legally?

Have you ever been pulled over by the Nyamsoro?

MBOMBELA – If you have a problem with your speeding ticket, it should be aired in the prescribed way.

Refusing to pay your ticket due to alleged illegalities thereof won’t get you anywhere. This entails filling out a representation or reporting the traffic official behaving illegally on the spot, depending on the scenario at hand.

These requirements were aired by Mr Simon du Plessis, Project Director at Medaco – a service provider who administers traffic fines on provincial level. He provided Lowvelder with a few tips to regulate whether you have been fined legally.

He explained that traffic officers operating cameras need to adhere to certain requirements. “When a traffic official pulls you over for speeding using a handheld camera, he must present you with the opportunity to verify the speed reading on the speed camera. He must issue a speeding ticket there and then, which will indicate when you must pay the fine or attend court.” If motorists feel that they have been fined unfairly, the charge can be disputed by filling out the prescribed representation form. 

Trucam and radar cameras may also be used to snap speeding vehicles. Although the cameras are manned by traffic officials, these officials do not have to be visible to road users. The cameras take photographs of the speeding vehicles, which are scrutinised by provincial inspectors. These inspectors confirm who the vehicle belongs to and a traffic fine is posted to his address.

“If a traffic official operating a camera can’t provide you with proof that he is a certified traffic official and the camera’s calibration certificate, road users are urged to report this with their nearest traffic authority,” du Plessis warned. “Where drivers want to dispute speeding tickets generated by an unmanned camera, their written representation must be submitted at least two weeks before their court date.”

Du Plessis also explained that the new edition to the traffic law enforcement sector, the Nyamsoro, has to adhere to strict regulations when performing it’s duties. The Nyamsoro is a white minibus equipped with an automated number-plate recognition system. It can scan both registration numbers and drivers’ identity documents to confirm whether the driver and/or owner of the vehicle in question has failed to pay a speeding ticket.Where a person failed to appear in court on strength of a traffic fine, the Nyamsoro will pick it up and his warrant of arrest may be enforced by the Nyamsoro’s operator.

“The Nyamsoro must always have a certified operator on board as well as an assistant clerk of the court. When motorists are arrested, they must pay up on the spot,” du Plessis said.

“If motorists encounter a Nyamsoro that does not adhere to these requirements, this must be reported to the authorities,” he added.

Also read: traffic fines – to pay or not to pay?

Helene Eloff
Legal Adviser & Journalist

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