Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) chair Howard Dembovsky has warned local motorists to check speed camera-based traffic fines they receive.
This is to ensure that any fines received do not contain errors, and Dembovsky specifically mentioned fines hosted in banking apps and online.
“Capture errors are causing motorists to be incorrectly charged with infringements and criminal offences they didn’t commit,” said Dembovsky.
“In one recent case, a motorist faced a criminal charge because the location of the infringement was incorrectly recorded.”
Dembovsky said in this instance, the motorist was travelling at 134km/h in a 120km/h zone – and should have received an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit by 14km/h.
“The image shows his vehicle on the freeway. However, the location at which the violation was alleged to have occurred was given as an urban road several kilometres away, in an 80km/h zone.”
“Using the incorrect location, the motorist was no longer alleged to have been just 14km/h over the speed limit, but a massive 54km/h over it.”
“Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h in an urban area is automatically classified as a criminal offence and triggers a mandatory court appearance,” said Dembovsky.
It is therefore essential that traffic authorities record the location of any violation correctly.
Dembovsky said the JPSA was assisting the motorist to have the defective notice of intention to prosecute him in court withdrawn, but “remained concerned that the same location mistake may have applied to many other camera violations recorded at the same place on the same day”.
“Camera violations are meant to be reviewed by a traffic officer before being issued to prevent this kind of error. JPSA no longer has confidence that these reviews are being done properly.”