WATCH | Traffic officer filmed accepting a bribe: Blow the whistle on these transactions!

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• A traffic officer was filmed taking a bribe from a motorist in South Africa recently.

• Bribes are often sees as the easy way out of a paying a larger amount in terms of a fine.

• Motorists participating in corruption can face bigger penalties, including possible jail time.

For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24

Bribery and unsolicited payments are among the most common things we sadly first associate a government official with. These associations are unfair towards the people who do things by the book, but a few bad apples have made the entire batch rotten by association.

From top government officials to those on the ground, corruption runs rife in the South African government. And if any citizen wants to experience this for themselves, the most commonplace to see it is when a traffic officer pulls you over.

The above video of an officer taking payment from a motorist made the rounds recently. The two are filmed walking towards the officer's vehicle, the motorist then pulls out his wallet and hands the officer an undisclosed amount of money before walking away.

The department of Transport is asking anyone with any information about this incident, to please come forward.

Have you ever experienced any bribery with a law official, either locally or abroad? Email us your story or use the comment section below.

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Traffic officer accepting bribe from motorist

Blowing the whistle

When pulled over by a traffic officer for committing an offence on South African roads, it can often lead to a fine or a court hearing. Depending on the type of violation, offences can easily see motorists run into thousands of Rands in fines, which is why it is often simpler going for the easy way out.

Paying a traffic officer R500 as opposed to settling an R1000 fine is far less strenuous and time-consuming than standing in a line at your nearest traffic department or sitting in court waiting your turn to appear before a judge. There are various ways to justify you 'settling the matter', but motorists partaking in these actions are just as guilty as the law official soliciting the bribe.

READ: I've had an encounter with a rude traffic officer - what are my rights, and can I sue?

Johan Jonck from Arrive Alive says that South Africans should refrain from involving themselves in corruption, regardless of the situation.

"It is important that we root out corruption and that we blow the whistle on those that are guilty of corruption," he says. "By offering and accepting bribes, we support continued lawlessness on our roads. It will be important to capture some details of the offender/vehicle registration/area/etc. where possible and report these incidents."

If a motorist is found guilty of partaking in a bribe, they can face a far more severe penalty than, for instance, the original R1000 fine. While the sentence one could face cannot be measured in monetary value, the nature of the bribe, bribe amounts, and previous convictions will all be taken into account.

For more tips on how to deal with corrupt traffic officers, click here.

How does corruption manifest in the field of traffic enforcement and road safety?

• Bribes are often demanded in situations where road users have committed an offence such as speeding, overloading, or driving unlicensed or unroadworthy vehicles.

• Bribery in these instances may be used to ensure that the offender escapes a stiffer penalty (i.e. a R100 bribe is requested when the alternative is to pay a legitimate fine of double that amount).

• The most commonly paid bribe was for traffic fines, driver testing and licensing irregularities.

• Certificates of roadworthiness are issued without the said vehicles undergoing the necessary roadworthy tests.

• Money is received in return for assisting applicants for learners licence tests to cheat in their exams.

• Car sellers often attempt to bribe examiners to overlook a certain component or else to push through a marginal case.

• Car sellers often try to buy 'paper' certificates. That is a certificate provided without testing or examining the vehicle at all.

For more on what to be alert of, click here.



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