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​JMPD takes corrective steps on infringements

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has apologised to motorists for issuing AARTO infringement notices by ordinary mail instead of registered mail between the period of August 2010 and 21 December 2012.

This after Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela recommended that the JMPD take remedial action, after her report found non-compliance on the department’s part with Section 30 of the Aarto Act, which requires infringement notices to be issued by registered mail instead of ordinary mail.

On 18 December 2014, Advocate Madonsela released her report entitled “A Matter of Interpretation” into the City’s implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto).

In her report, she also found that the demerit points in terms of the Act were neither allocated nor deducted during the implementation of the pilot phase and no evidence was found to support the allegation that JMPD refunded those who had paid their fines in violation of Section 30 during the stated period.

To remedy the situation, the JMPD has placed an apology to appear from the week of 23 March, in the following newspapers including The Star, Sowetan, Beeld, The Times, Citizen, Daily Sun, Business Day and The New Age.

JMPD Director Gerrie Gerneke confirmed that since 22 December 2012 notices were being issued via registered mail at a cost of R10 million per month.

“I must also state that we are in discussion with the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) whose responsibility is to issue both a courtesy letter and enforcement order by registered mail in compliance with the Act, to find a way of suitably rolling out Aarto that will result in payment of infringement notices,” Director Gerneke said.

People who have paid fines under the period stated cannot apply for refunds. “The Public Protector made it clear in her report that once you’ve pleaded guilty, you cannot apply for a refund of that fine. The fact that you’ve pleaded guilty is more than enough proof that you’ve received notification of the infringement notice,” said Director Gerneke.

He said all cases where people have not paid, would be cancelled on the receipt of applications of a representation notice, where the affected person can request for cancellation, under Section 30 for notices that were not sent out by registered mail.

“We are complying with all those replies and those cases are still on the in-house JMPD system, where the prosecutor would formally withdraw that infringement notice.”

Fines issued after 21 December 2012 are legal and should be paid, according to Director Gerneke, over 80 percent of motorists are ignoring these fines, “and they are in for a shock. They would not be able to renew their vehicle and driver licences as well as register new vehicles”. He added that the Act did not allow motorists to be arrested for those cases.

Further adding that the RTIA would continue to send out more courtesy letters and enforcement orders.

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