A blog covering life and happenings in Cape Town

Monday, April 11, 2005

Did you know that in South Africa ?

1.You can be fined a R150.00 for letting an animal stray onto a public road.
2.You can be fined a R100.00 if you are the driver or a passenger on a motor cycle for not wearing the chin strap of your crash helmet.
3. You can be fined a R100.00 for not giving way to an emergency vehicle using its siren.

Above are some of the petty fines that you can bring upon yourself.

Of course there are the more serious ones such as failing to exhibit your car licence which you have already purchased but have forgotten to stick onto your windscreen.

The fine for this serious offence is in excess of R500.00.

Of course the authorities use underhanded methods to catch the unwary.

I'll just list a few for you.

Speed in South Africa causes many road deaths especially on our national roads yet the traffic officials set up their speed cameras on downhills into country towns to catch those people who have failed to slow down to 60 kilometres per hour within a hundred metres of passing the road sign.

The speed limit before the advent of the sign being a 120 kilometres per hour.

On the N1 highway out of Cape Town the authorities have set up a speed camera in an 80 kilometre per hour area where the camera is hidden behind a road sign.

Unless you know of the camera you will ride over the trip wires before you see it.

Over the Easter weekend the traffic officials parked their white panel van on the left hand side of the road just below the crest of the hill facing oncoming traffic so that it looked as if the vehicle had a problem.

When you got closer there was a camera hidden next to the vehicle photographing oncoming cars doing in excess of the speed limit.

You might ask “ What am I going on about”.

Let me tell you!

In South Africa its all about making money.

Road Safety although blasted over the radio and TV is not the main issue.

Municipalities and traffic authorities are out to make budget and the easy way to do it is to target soft targets.

Hidden cameras capture thousands of speeding cars each month in areas where a couple of kilometres above the speed limit will do no harm.

It's also very easy on the traffic officials as there is no confrontation.

Many of the cameras being used on our roads do not belong to the traffic departments because the duty of regulating speed on our roads has been outsourced to private companies.

They bring in far more revenue than the traffic officials ever would even after having to pay a commission to the outsourced company for capturing the speeding motorists on film.

Motorists are being targeted and the real criminals “ murderers, rapists etc are getting away scot free.

A report in a local newspaper listed a number of alarming facts in one of their latest issues.

Below is one of them:

The South Africa Law Commission advises that only 6% of all violent crimes reported and investigated by the SAPS result in a conviction.

Of those reported 75% do not make it to court and of the balance approximately 50% of offenders are actually convicted.

These statistics make really terrible reading.

If we were to compare the violent crime conviction rates to those of traffic offenders I am sure that 95% of the traffic offenders caught on camera end up paying their fines.

It is easy to regulate soft targets and honest people.

What conclusion does all of the above lead me to.

If private traffic officials can achieve about a 95% conviction rate for traffic offences why not employ private investigators to investigate serious crime and pay them when they get convictions.

With a bit of luck the real criminals of our country will get their just desserts.

If this were to happen and be succesful the country would save millions in security costs as the public would not have to turn their homes into prisons to keep themselves safe.


Read about S A Prisons in the latest Turtle Essays Ezine
Here is the link:
S A Prisons

See you all soon

Geoff Fairman


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