Illegal parkers punished

2016-05-17 06:00
Law Enforcement officials have issued fines to the value of R20 000 for illegal parking infront of the police station and Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court. Some of these fines were issued to police vehicles as well.  PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Law Enforcement officials have issued fines to the value of R20 000 for illegal parking infront of the police station and Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court. Some of these fines were issued to police vehicles as well. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Hefty fines have not been adequate deterrent for cars illegally parking along the red line in front of the Mitchell’s Plain police station and Magistrate’s Court.

Police and Law Enforcement officials have begun writing fines for traffic infringements in front of the station, police confirm, and even police vehicles have not escaped the fines.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Ian Williams says there is “an average of four to six accidents per week” in front of the police station.

“[This is] because of people disobeying traffic rules by parking in front of the gate of the police station and on the red line in front of the station and the court,” says Williams.

“The Station Commander, Brigadier Cass Goolam, in cooperation with Law Enforcement and Traffic, is ensuring that stiff traffic fines are being issued to offenders.”

Williams says to date they have issued R20 000 worth of fines in the vicinity for various traffic infringements.

Cars parking in front of the station block one of the two carriages of the street. But although many still make use of the space in front of the station and court, Goolam acknowledges a difference.

“The fines have been effective, although we cannot say adequate, as motorists are being fined on a daily basis in the same stretch of street. We are considering combining the issuing of the fine with towing away the transgressing vehicles,” he says.

“The red line is an indication that vehicles are not permitted to stop in the red demarcated area at all as it will constitute a danger or an obstruction to other traffic in terms of the National Road Traffic Act,” explains JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security. “The person stopping or parking a vehicle on a red line is committing a traffic offence. Fines are issued to ensure compliance with the National Road Traffic Act and thus promote road safety and to ensure the free flow of traffic – in this instance, entry and exit from a parking area. The fine for parking or stopping on a red line is R1000.”

Goolam says fines have always been issued in this area, but have been in the spotlight more so recently.

Smith adds this is not unique. “Similar action has been taken in the past in the vicinity of the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court as well as Cape Town Magistrate’s Court,” he says.

Goolam says this should act as a fair warning to all transgressors.

“We are going to be escalating focus on transgressing motorists because the illegal packing is causing accidents almost daily in front of the police station. We have partnered with City’s Traffic and Law Enforcement departments as the issuing of traffic fines is one of their core functions or mandates,” says Goolam.

The station is no longer warning motorists, says Goolam, as drivers should have been taught to understand traffic signs in the process of obtaining their driving licences. “If not, the fines should educate them sufficiently. I am so serious about this matter that even police vehicles are being fined for parking illegally in that vicinity.”

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