Man arrested for ripping traffic fine

2018-09-16 15:28

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A Pietermaritzburg motorist who tried to wriggle out of a traffic fine, only succeeded in getting himself into more trouble.

The Social Development employee, who cannot be named, was issued with a R500 traffic fine for not wearing a seat belt, but instead of paying it, he tore it up.

The fine was issued by traffic officers, under the Public Transport Enforcement Unit (PTEU) who were conducting law enforcement duties on Thursday morning at the Masukwane Taxi Rank.

Chris van Biljon, chief provincial inspector of the PTEU, said the officers stopped a white VW Golf in the vicinity of the taxi rank to issue the driver with a fine.

Van Biljon said the officers then left the scene. A short while later, however, they returned to the same spot to find the fine torn into pieces. “When they picked up the pieces and put them back together, they realised that the summons number was the same one they had issued to the motorist. They then went to the office and did a bit of investigating on our computer system.”

He said they managed to trace the owner of the car through its registration number. “What was even more shocking was that the motorist information that came up did not match that on the summons. The driver had given the traffic officer false information.”

After a two-hour investigation, the traffic officers went to the motorist’s house where they were pointed to his place of employment.

He was eventually arrested and charged with defeating the ends of justice, failing to wear his seatbelt and furnishing the traffic officers with false information.

Pietermaritzburg police station spokesperson Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo confirmed the arrest and said that the motorist was released on warning.

Van Biljon said the motorist told them he tore up the fine out of “frustration”.

“We take all traffic offences seriously because we are trying to minimise the carnage on the roads. People will think that taxi drivers are the worst on the roads but everyone contributes to road deaths, even the minor offences.

“This motorist took a minor offence and escalated it to a point where he possibly faces jail time.”

Van Biljon said it was worrying that some motorists failed to obey the simple rules of the road.

“People have this general attitude towards traffic officers that we are out there to punish them unnecessarily. They are not looking at the bigger picture; the bigger picture is everyone’s life is at risk.”

He warned motorists not to undermine traffic officers and not try to evade traffic fines. “If as a motorist you are required to hand over your details, give the officer the correct information ... if you don’t, it can compound to charges at a later stage. Take the fine, go to court and deal with it,” he added.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, the 27-year-old motorist, who will be going to court on Tuesday, said he felt victimised.

“I accepted my ticket because I knew I was in the wrong. I was still going to pay the fine.

“I didn’t disrespect the officer because I didn’t do this in his presence. There was overloading of taxis next to me but he just targeted me,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  traffic fines

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