WITH reference to the letter, “Link the fines to licence renewal” (May 20), although the vehicle licence renewal document has for many years had just such a portion printed on it, it has not been used due to various legal and other issues. Making licence renewals dependant on the fines being addressed in the ways mentioned by your reader presents certain insurmountable practical problems.
The reader’s suggestion could possibly be used in cases where warrants of arrest have been issued for vehicle owners, but not for all cases as many warrants of arrest are for drivers who do not own the vehicles driven. I suspect the outstanding fines which municipal officials and certain ward councillors regularly refer to are mostly for speeding or other offences caught on camera.
That in my opinion is only a money-making exercise but certainly not proper law enforcement nor contributing to road safety nor practical to manage.
Summonses (spot fines) issued directly to drivers by traffic officials are each linked to a particular court date. If the fines are not paid the driver needs to appear in court on that date.
If he fails to do so then a warrant of arrest is issued by the court. The traffic officials need then simply go to arrest the drivers who will then appear in court to explain their non-attendance (an contempt of court offence in itself) on the original court date, plus plead on the original traffic offence charge(s) and let the normal course of justice take place.
This is proper law enforcement within the legal system which has been around for many years and worked well.
Fred Rogers, Port Elizabeth