A 'love note' from the authorities

You’re driving along and doing best to ‘stay in your lane’ until you reach your destination, when suddenly there’re blue lights flashing at you and an officer signalling you to pull over – a feeling many of us know all too well. Panic sets in almost immediately, whether you’ve done something wrong or not. Before you know it, you’re handing over your driver’s license and getting checked for outstanding fines - or if you’re unlucky, you’re being handed a pricey “love-note” from the authorities.

Here are some of the things that could earn you one of those pricey “love-notes”:

  • Driving a vehicle that is not roadworthy and/or without a Roadworthy Certificate where applicable;
  • Driving a vehicle that is overloaded/exceeds the permitted load requirements;
  • Driving without a license, the correct driving permit;
  • Organising or taking part in a road race/sport without permission from the authorities;
  • Reckless driving without the consideration of other road users;
  • Disregarding road signs and rules;
  • Driving over the speed limit;
  • Failing to comply with instructions given by a traffic officer.

The world of traffic fines is very often a complicated one as there are many strict rules and regulations that govern how it all works – most of which many of us are unaware of. For instance, did you know that:

  • When it comes to traffic fines, the act stipulates that if the alleged infringement is captured on camera, the motorist will need to receive a notice of offence within 30 days. If the notice is generated on the 31st day, the traffic fine is deemed unlawful and invalid;
  • If you have been issued a traffic fine, you are responsible for requesting a photograph of your vehicle. The image needs to show your vehicle in a clear manner – if there is more than one other car within the image, travelling at the same speed as your vehicle, you are able to dispute the validity of the fine. On perusal, if they find that there are too many vehicles to accurately determine an offender, the fine will be invalid;
  • If you are issued a fine by a corrupt traffic officer who asks for (or implies) bribery, or happens to threaten you, the fine will be invalid.
  • If you pay your traffic fine within 32 days of receiving it, you will get a 50% discount on the fine charge;
  • You are not obliged to pay outstanding traffic fines at roadblocks. However, you can get arrested for outstanding fines, provided that there is a warrant for your arrest.
  • If you receive a section 56 notice, you have 30 days to pay the fine. If you receive a section 341 notice, you have approximately three months to pay the fine.

There are times you will feel the need to dispute your fine as you believe you’ve done nothing wrong, make sure you know the options available to you when it comes to disputing them.

We may not be able to insure you against traffic fines; however, we’ve put together an e-book with some information we think could come in handy for you if you have another run-in with the authorities on the road.

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