'Trap-spotters' can be costly

2006-12-07 22:58
Johannesburg - If you thought your radar- and laser-spotting device would save you a few rands in speeding fines, think again.

You can own, buy or sell one, but you are not allowed to use one.

If traffic cops catch you using it, you're in for the high jump.

That's apparently what happened to Abdul Majeed Dawood at a roadblock in La Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal.

Dawood was charged with defeating the ends of justice when he appeared on Thursday in Scottburgh magistrate's court and was fined R2 000. He is due to appear in court again in January.

Wayne Minnaar of Johannesburg metro police says any device that can be used to obstruct the law is illegal.

"If we catch anyone using this type of device, we lock them up for trying to defeat the ends of justice.

"The person will have to appear before a magistrate and plead their case."

Minnaar says it's not illegal to own the radar- and laser-spotting devices, or to trade in them, but it is illegal to use them.

The devices are freely available in South Africa.

One dealer specialises in selling anything from devices that beat speed traps to fluids that are said to deflect laser impulses away from the car.

There also are technologically advanced contraptions that are supposed to warn a motorist when there is a laser speed trap somewhere close by.

Number-plate sprays 'illegal'

There is the Blinder X-treme laser jammer, selling at a cool R3 800, that the distributors, The Laserguys, claim can block off all laser signals from any distance.

They also sell Photo Stopper, a spray that is supposed to block out all information when it is sprayed on registration plates.

According to Minnaar, the sale of such sprays is illegal.

"I know about the Photo Stopper, but we see all the numbers that are photographed.

"It is not going to stop us from getting your number if you are caught by a speed trap," said Minnaar.

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