Where's the fire, buddy?

A Gauteng motorcyclist on Sunday pleaded not guilty to travelling 232kph on a KwaZulu-Natal highway on a motorbike allegedly not fitted with registration plates or a properly displayed licence disc.

KwaZulu-Natal traffic spokesperson Colin Govender said Malcolm John Cochrane (45), of Kensington in Johannesburg, had a female passenger on his Kawasaki 1 000cc when he was caught in a 120kph zone on the N2 at Park Rynie.

Cochrane, on holiday in KwaZulu-Natal, was released on bail of R3 000 by the roadside magistrate’s court in Park Rynie after indicating that he intends appointing an attorney to defend him. The case against him was postponed to January 21, when he will have to appear in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court, said Govender.

He said Cochrane’s motorbike was impounded in Park Rynie and will remain locked up until it is fitted with registration plates and properly displays a licence disc.

Although penalties for breaking the speed limit are at the discretion of magistrates, motorists recently found guilty of speeds of 200kph, 206kph and 207kph—in different magisterial districts—have faced fines of about R13 000, R18 000 and R22 000, said Govender.

The Sunday Times has reported that few drivers caught this festive season doing speeds of up to 244kph in 120kph speed zones expressed regret when interviewed, with one even joking that he would do it again if he had the money to pay the fine.

The drivers it confronted were:

  • Pierre Botha (34) of Mossel Bay, caught doing 244kph in a Volvo T5 on the N2 at Great Brak River, Western Cape, while trying to reach his ailing two-year-old child, was fined R3 000;

  • Shubnum Rambally, of Avoca, trapped going 207kph in a BMW on the N2 at Park Rynie, was fined R13 000;

  • Johan Frederick Niemand (26), a holidaymaker, fined R17 000 for driving 206kph in his Honda S2000, with his son buckled up and asleep on the front seat;

  • Jacobus Buys, of Amanzimtoti, clocked at 199kph on a Yamaha R1 1 000cc motorbike at Park Rynie, was fined R12 000; and

  • Neil Dheepraj, fined R18 000 after being nabbed for driving at 194kph in a Mercedes-Benz Kompressor between Kokstad and Durban.

    Driving at speeds of more than 200kph shows an absolute disregard for the law, Arrive Alice spokesperson Wendy Watson told the newspaper.

    “You can drive at 130kph or 140kph by mistake, but I’m sorry, you can’t drive at more than 200kph by mistake,” she reportedly said.—Sapa

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