Metro cops hunting fines

2013-12-17 00:00

DURBAN’S metro police plan on using roadblocks on major roads during the festive season in an attempt to recover R1,5 billion in unpaid traffic fines.

Some of the fines date back to 2006, despite the city offering three traffic fines amnesty opportunities during that period where motorists could have had their fines reduced by 50%.

Motorists coughed up R255 million during the amnesty periods.

Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the outstanding R1,5 billion in fines also included other traffic bylaw offences.

Msomi conceded that police were facing a serious challenge in collecting outstanding traffic debt.

“Roadblocks are continuing, and incentives, and easy facilities are in place to assist those willing to pay,” said Msomi.

The processes are not only about recovering money, but for people to take responsibility, he said.

During the festive season, police plan to use plain-clothes officers, stationed away from roadblocks, to catch those motorists who try to dodge police.

“The big challenge we face in recovering unpaid traffic fines is when people are taken to court. The magistrate can make any ruling, including reducing the fine or warning a person. And that is beyond our control,” Msomi said.

Msomi said the drivers of the Glayer ZN taxis were among the biggest fine dodgers, collectively owing R2,3 million.

In 2012, the fleet had owed about R1,3 million.

“This figure involves more than 4 800 fines for more than 400 different drivers. The Glayer ZN taxi boss owes R31 000 for 127 traffic fines,” said Msomi.

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