Wise up for fine-free days

2011-11-11 10:16

It’s that time of year when roadblocks become more frequent. And as much as we’d like to run our mouths and argue about “unheard of” laws, accepting the fines might possibly save you a trip to being locked up.

There are more than 2 000 finable offences in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) charge book, but most of us only know a handful.

Last year, I was pulled over by a Cape Town metro police officer for handling a cellphone while driving. The fine was R300.

I was adamant that I was not using the phone and only had it in my hand.

The officer took out his little book and turned to a page where it stated: “No mobile phone should be handled by any body part of the driver.”

That included being placed in the driver’s lap. I smiled, took my fine and said: “Thanks for the lesson.”

» If you want to know all the laws you could possibly break, a full list is available on Aarto.co.za

A dozen infringements you should know
1. If you run out of petrol and your car is stuck in a position that obstructs traffic, you can be fined R500.

2. If you don’t have an emergency triangle in your boot, that’s a R500 fine.

3. You may not have any sticker/badge within 15cm of your license plate if it’s not a component of the vehicle; this can be a fine of up to R1 000.

4. A motorcycle learner can be fined R1 000 for carrying a passenger.

5. For the petrolheads with souped-up cars – which includes altering any part of the vehicle such as the suspension, adding NOS or increasing the power of your car – you need to have the car roadworthy tested with those modifications. If you don’t, you can get a fine of R1 200.

6. A R100 fine will be given for operating a bicycle without a brake on the back wheel.

7. Driving with your fog lights on in clear weather conditions is illegal and can cost you R500.

8. Always keep a safe following distance when driving behind another car, a fine of up to R1 000 can be served for following another car too closely.

9. Failing to give immediate right of way to an emergency vehicle can cost you R500.

10. If you are a cyclist, you can get a R100 fine for not wearing a helmet.

11. You will receive a R250 fine for transporting a person or animal on top of your car.

12. You can be charged R1 500 for refusing to give a blood or alcohol breath test when asked to do so.

» Source: AASA and AARTO

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