SA roads are ‘lawless’, says Ndebele

South Africa’s roads are “lawless”, with drivers refusing to pay traffic fines and not turning up for court dates to answer for their offences, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Briefing the media ahead of his budget vote speech, Ndebele said: “Drivers simply ignore paying traffic fines and do not even bother to go to court because they know that nothing will happen to them, since their cases are not prioritised and, in many instances, withdrawn.

“Our courts are already overburdened with many criminal cases and traffic offences are not prioritised by the justice system.

“Courts are inundated with criminal cases such as rape, murder, robberies and ATM bombings. This has placed a tremendous strain on our court resources, resulting in traffic offences during 2008 only being heard in October 2010 and into 2011.

“This is further exacerbated by the lawlessness on our roads.”

Ndebele said 201 779 traffic offences were on the court roll in the Johannesburg metro police department for 2010 for offences committed during 2008. A figure of 53 809 traffic offences could not be accommodated and have court dates pending after October 2010 and into 2011. For the Cape Town metro, 132 226 traffic cases were on the court roll up to October 2010.

“Traffic offences during the current year will of necessity have to be heard during 2011/12 and into 2013,” Ndebele said.

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO), which was implemented in Johannesburg and Tshwane on April 1 and which will be rolled out to the rest of the country during the current financial year, should “change the situation”.

“It will relieve the burden from the court system and allow the courts to focus on more urgent matters.

“It will also contribute to the more effective and efficient finalisation of road traffic cases.”


Opportunity for all stakeholders
Ndebele said the Road Traffic Management Corporation had advertised posts for extra traffic officers and that community road safety councils will soon be introduced in every municipality in the country.

“These councils will provide the opportunity to all stakeholders to participate and allow communities to identify road safety challenges and interventions in their respective localities, and to act as ambassadors for road safety,” Ndebele said.

Community members will be able to access the benefits provided by the Road Accident Fund (RAF), which is currently being overhauled, through these councils.

“The overall aim is to provide an effective benefit system which is reasonable, equitable, affordable and sustainable in the long term,” Ndebele said.

“The RAF will work closely with the Community Road Safety Councils in ensuring survivors of road collisions receive appropriate post-collision care and compensation.

“They will educate communities, especially the poor, and assist them to access the care that will help them deal with the death of loved ones and any injuries they may have sustained, and to continue leading normal lives.” — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday