No email traffic fines: JPSA

By Drum Digital
04 March 2013

Reports that traffic fines could be emailed to motorists were incorrect, Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) said in a statement on Monday.

"Nowhere in the proposed amendments is it contemplated that an ordinary motor vehicle owner or driver will have infringement notices delivered to them 'by email'," said chairman Howard Dembovsky.

Beeld reported on Monday that the possibility of emailed fines emerged from the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Bill, published in the Government Gazette in February.

Dembovsky said that with 11 percent of South Africans currently estimated to have access to the internet, it would prove impractical and practically impossible to deliver fines by e-mail.

The bill indicated that where the "infringer" was a juristic person, being a company, trust or other organisations, then they would receive "electronic service" of the fine.

The term "electronic service" itself was problematic, as it was too broad and did not specify which exact type of electronic communication would be used.

"The amendment was proposed to facilitate a more efficient driver nomination process for companies that operate fleets of vehicles," said Dembovsky.

"Electronic service will benefit companies in the case of infringement notices that result from camera fines... where the driver of the vehicle is not stopped at the time, so as to facilitate nomination of the driver timeously."

Beeld reported that the introduction of Aarto, which was currently enforced only in Johannesburg and Pretoria, had repeatedly been postponed in other parts of the country because of administrative problems.

Thirteen years after it was first proposed, the Aarto penalty points system had yet to be enforced, largely because of legal wrangling and criticism of the legislation.

According to the newspaper, Johannesburg metro police had been quoted in earlier media reports as saying it had no budget to send notices by registered mail.

-by Sapa

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