E-toll bill can't stop licence renewals

Cape Town - Unpaid e-toll bills cannot lead to the withholding of vehicle licence registrations.

This clarification was given by the director of licensing and prosecutions of the Johannesburg metro police department, Gerrie Gerneke.

Speaking on Talk Radio 702 earlier this week, he explained that “there's no legislation which prohibits motorists from renewing their vehicle licences if they have outstanding e-toll bills”.
 
"His explanation clarifies that the failure to pay an e-toll bill was not a traffic infringement, and that the traffic authorities have no jurisdiction over non-payment of e-tolls bills," said the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa)
 
“This is the first unambiguous statement from any authority that we have heard on a major issue of confusion surrounding e-toll bills,” said Outa spokesperson John Clarke.

Ambiguity clarified

“It will not please Sanral to have the ambiguity clarified, as the ‘threat’ of a withholding of a vehicle licence, along with bad debt and criminal records has caused many motorists to contact Outa seeking reassurance.”

Clarke regretted that Sanral had "opted for the big stick approach by legislating that the non-payment of e-tolls would be regarded a criminal offence".

“Applied together with exorbitant punitive tariffs, Sanral thought this would give the state sufficient clout to force users to submit to the system,” said Clarke.

“It has totally backfired."

So far nobody has been charged or arrested for non-payment of e-tolls, according to Outa.


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