Help or clogging


Charl van Wyk, Durbanville

A friend, who lives in the Klipheuwel informal settlement, was caught by a traffic officer and fault was found with his motor scooter.

He was given time to correct the issues and report back to the authorities.

Before the stipulated date of reporting, while he was sorting out the issues, he was stopped by another officer, who again found fault with the same scooter. The officer was shown the previously issued official documentation with the D-Day for reporting, which was still to come.

The second officer disagreed with the former officer’s decision and dates and issued a fine of R3 500. The scooter rider doesn’t even earn that in a month, and the scooter is not worth that either.

Here is a good example of an officer who has shown discretion, a concern for the citizenry and is intent on helping to improve road safety. The other appears unhelpful, vengeful and is doing his bit to clog up our justice system.

The scooter will now be scrapped, but never mind, our City coffers will look so much better.

* Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, responds:

It is very difficult to respond to this letter without having all the facts and/or documentation at hand.

However, based on some of the information provided by the writer, one can assume the scooter was suspended from operating on a public road as a result of one or more defects that would have deemed it unroadworthy. Standard practice in cases like these is to pull the vehicle’s licence disc and direct the owner/driver to effect repairs and present the vehicle to a testing centre once the repairs are completed, in order to have their licence disc reissued. The officer has discretion to issue a fine or not for the defects in addition to the suspension.

Vehicles that are suspended in this manner are only allowed to be driven directly from the spot where they were pulled over to a repair centre and from there to a testing centre. They are not allowed to be operated on a public road until the defects have been repaired.

The fine of R3 500 issued by the second officer is the fine amount for operating in contravention of a suspension notice.We can therefore only assume that this is what happened in this case. I would like to remind members of the public to refrain from using vehicles that have been suspended for being unroadworthy until such time as the defects are repaired and vetted at one of the City’s testing stations to avoid further sanction.