Sanral ‘impersonates’ traffic officers – JPSA

2014-07-19 06:00

Sanral must remove Gauteng traffic police branding, blue lights and sirens from its vehicles, says Justice Project SA (JPSA).

Having SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) vehicles with such branding and equipment was tantamount to impersonating a traffic officer, chairperson Howard Dembovsky said today.

In addition, the 4X4 vehicles supplied to the Gauteng community safety department by Sanral had automatic number plate recognition equipment linked to the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNatis) installed on them.

He said it was not a legal requirement for any motor vehicle to have an e-tag.

“Therefore there can be no justifiable reason or need for the Sanral-branded motor vehicles and trailers to be present at ... roadblocks since all 49 gantries on the GFIP (Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project) have electronic equipment to detect e-tags.”

JPSA believed that having Sanral-branded vehicles at Gauteng traffic police road blocks was an intimidation tactic.

“It is now crystal clear that the vehicles themselves are operating illegally and in violation of the National Road Traffic Act and regulations,” Dembovsky said.

JPSA sent Sanral and Transport Minister Dipuo Peters a letter demanding Sanral stop using such vehicles on public roads or at roadblocks.

Dembovsky welcomed Peters’ asking Sanral that prosecution of non-paying e-toll users be halted for now.

Yesterday, transport department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said Peters believed a number of outstanding issues needed to be sorted out.

“She’s engaged with Sanral to hold back on the prosecution processes that has been spoken about,” said Rikhotso.

“She believes there are still a number of outstanding issues that need to be resolved, particularly those that affect the users of the roads, including inaccurate billing.”

On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it had appointed two prosecutors to work with Sanral to deal with non-payment of e-tolls.

“We have assigned two prosecutors to work with Sanral with the view to establish whether the activities by some motorists constitute an offence in terms of the Sanral Act,” said NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube.

“Section 27(5)(a) makes it an offence to refuse or fail to pay the amount of toll that is due and is punishable on conviction with imprisonment or a fine.”

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