TSHWANE – The Star Newspaper has this morning run an article entitled ‘Estates now play traffic cop’, as a result of a joint investigation by JPSA and the Star Newspaper into an operation running in Centurion Residential and Golf Estate in Tshwane.
JPSA has lodged a complaint with the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency with respect to the illegal and fraudulent actions of the Homeowners Association and KZN-based Licence Plate Recognition CC (trading as I-Cube), who are jointly defrauding members of the public of indeterminable amounts of money.
The National Road Traffic Act, as well as other Acts and the Technical Committee for Standards and Procedures Prosecuting Guidelines govern all law enforcement on South Africa’s roads and whilst many people hold the belief that there is such a thing as a “private road”; in terms of our law there is no such thing. All roads and thoroughfares, whether within a boomed off area, shopping centre or anywhere else to which the public have access, are defined as public roads. Traffic law enforcement may only be practiced by legally appointed local, provincial and national authorities, as well as the South African Police Service.
Any fines issued for contravention of any of the provisions of the National Road Traffic Act must be issued by an authorised traffic authority or the SAPS in strict accordance with either the Criminal Procedure Act or the AARTO Act. Private companies and Homeowners Associations have no authority whatsoever to impose and collect on fines for contravention of traffic law where they are the beneficiary, no matter what they call their demand for payment.
The acting CEO of the RTMC, Collins Letsoalo has issued instruction for an immediate investigation to be instituted by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the RTMC’s National Traffic Police with respect to Mr Barry Fryer Dudley of Licence Plate Recognition CC, however it is almost certain that other parties will also be cited.
Since the story broke this morning, JPSA has received a number of calls and emails from people who have received “traffic fines” issued by private companies and homeowners associations and we are appealing to members of the public to come forward with information, particularly if they have paid any such fines. We have set up a dedicated email address for this purpose and members of the public are encouraged to send an email to email@example.com.
The speed camera operations of Licence Plate Recognition CC/I-Cube and the relevant Homeowners Associations have nothing whatsoever to do with enhancing road safety. They have everything to do with making money – unlawfully. Complexes and Estates who wish to slow traffic down should employ physical traffic calming measures which make it impossible for vehicles to speed. Parents in these complexes should also educate their children on basic road safety to prevent them from running in front of vehicles.
It can be argued that speed cameras deployed by traffic authorities similarly contribute nothing to road safety and are instead revenue generation tools. There is however one very big and important difference between the speed cameras in use by traffic authorities and those deployed by private companies. Traffic authorities are allowed by law to deploy them provided they seek authorisation from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Private companies cannot and will not be provided with similar authorisation and therefore, their operations are both illegal and fraudulent.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)
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