We would like to share an interesting, but much needed response from the Justice Project to an online visitor who complained about the legality of a traffic fine received at a stop street for not coming to a complete halt.
To whom it may concern
This email is sent on behalf of Mr Bx…Identity number: 5908…..
The vehicle is a silver Ford Ka, registration number VGW ….registered to Mr BX….Residing at….Furndale Randburg.
Mr Bx…received the fine on the 24/07/2011 at 10:00 am for not stopping COMPLETELY at a stop street in Paul Kruger road in Alberton. The fine is for R500.00, is that a relevant amount or is this an unlawful fine and can it be reduced?
You are joking, right?
May I ask you to go and have a look in the dictionary what the word “unlawful” means? By my definition it means “Not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules”, which certainly does not describe the section 56 summons that Mr BX…. was issued as you have described its circumstances of issue.
The noun “STOP” in the English language also has a very clear definition. It means “A cessation of movement or operation” which, simply put means coming to a complete HALT. The word is even in capital letters – to remove any doubt, not because “slow down” won’t fit on the sign. Saying that he was “unlawfully” fined for not stopping completely is just like saying “the traffic light was not red, it was slightly pink” and won’t buy anyone much sympathy.
The sign R1 below means stop completely whilst the 7th one from the left (R2) means yield, which does not require a complete halt if circumstances allow one to simply slow down and exercise due regard for other road users. This is not advanced traffic law, it forms part of the basic rules of the road.
Ask yourself; if someone were pinching you repeatedly, would you like them to stop or just slow down?
The amount of R500 corresponds with the penalty amount for the same infringement under AARTO, but in my opinion it is way too low anyway. We need more physical enforcement for this and a variety of other moving violations.
If you find my response harsh or disrespectful in any way, then that is an unfortunate circumstance of you having phrased your email as you did since it established that Mr BX… was indeed guilty of the offence. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have enormous difficulty in mincing my words so please take it from where it comes and please tell Mr BX… from me that stop does mean STOP.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)