In preparation for this article, a prominent concern among licensed road users, with regards to bribery and corruption in relation to getting fined, was a forefront subject.
Civilians are saying that they believe officers "find" fault with their vehicles and that fake road blocks are set up to gain extra incomes, especially in festive seasons and other celebratory periods throughout the year.
The result of this is that drivers are either fased with a hefty fine, temporary imprisonment or paying a bribe.
So what are your legal rights?
If you are given the option to either accept a fine or take a bribe when there is not actually fault with your vehicle or any other element that defies the law, accept the fine.
You will be given a court date to contest the fine. However, bare in mind that the courts are used to bribery claims and adequate proof must be provided.
It is your legal right to record an incident, or you may provide photographs proving no fault to the vehicle or other infringements.
Additionally, where roadblocks are concerned, it is encouraged to approach the officer with respect and dignity. To ensure that phony roadblock are not set up, it is within your legal right to ask for the roadblock's certificate of authentication that must be signed by the national or provincial police commisioner.
Equally, when you have overstepped the law, a traffic officer may issue a fine, temporarily detain you or refuse you further travel with your vehicle.
Statistics show that an estimated R500 million is lost to bribery annually. Thus effecting state revenue and funds that could be used in Road Accident Funds as well as the upkeep and maintenance of our roads.
On the other side of the coin, bribery also encourages reckless driving, because reckless drivers almost count on getting away with a bribe as apposed to fines, jail time or other punishments. Thus putting peoples lives at risk.
High levels of corruption is indicative of low levels of respect for the law aninfringements is punishable by law.
For further information regarding your rights and traffic infringements, please do not hesitate to consult one of our professionals for assistance.
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