High Court dismisses RTIA's leave to appeal traffic fine judgment

2017-05-05 16:27
Traffic fine. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Traffic fine. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday morning dismissed the Road Traffic Infringement Agency's (RTIA) application for leave to appeal its earlier judgment that the agency acted unlawfully in its handling of numerous traffic fines.

The RTIA was ordered to pay the costs of the application, Justice Project South Africa said in a statement.

Judge Bill Prinsloo said there was no reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion.

The RTIA had argued that the issue only affected those who originally brought the case.

The agency's spokesperson Monde Mkalipi said he would only be able to comment later.

Protracted battle

In February, Prinsloo ruled in favour of traffic fines management company Fines4U (Pty) Ltd and Audi Centre Johannesburg.

According to the ruling, which had been described as landmark, more than 400 fines dating back to 2008 would be cancelled where authorities did not comply with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

The ruling could open the door for more motorists to have their fines scrapped.

"The apparent change of stance by the fourth respondent [RTIA] is difficult to understand or, with respect, take seriously," Prinsloo said.

The JPSA said the judgment ended a protracted battle between Fines4U (a member of JPSA), Audi Johannesburg, and the RTIA, which started in 2013.

It said although the RTIA could still petition the Supreme Court of Appeal, it was highly unlikely that the SCA would find any differently.

"If the RTIA simply complied with the prescripts of the Aarto Act, matters like this can be avoided entirely," JPSA chair Howard Dembovsky said.

"Instead, it has adopted an attitude of 'the end justifies the means' from the outset of the current experimental implementation of the Aarto Act in the jurisdictions of the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

"The sooner the RTIA and all of the traffic law enforcement authorities in South Africa come to the realisation that traffic fines cannot be used to drive revenue budgets and must be compliant with the prescripts of the law, the better off we will all be," he said.

Read more on:    jpsa  |  pretoria  |  judiciary

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