The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service served 67,051 warrants between 1 January and 30 September 2016, with a total value of R75,541,415. Many of these executed warrants were thanks to Cape Town’s investment in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, with 20,438 warrants being served this year due to the initiative. Automatic number plate recognition technology has also led to the arrest of 2,841 motorists.
The remaining warrants were either served via the vehicle licensing process – where licences cannot be renewed if there are outstanding warrants – or during door-to-door operations. Traffic enforcement agencies generally issue two types of fines: the Section 341 notice and the Section 56 notice.
- A Section 341 notice is issued in circumstances where it is not evident who the driver is – for instance, a parking ticket or an offence captured by means of a camera. For such offences, vehicle owners receive fines in the post.
If the fine is not paid, a summons follows with a date to appear in court.
- Section 56 notices are issued when an enforcement officer stops a motorist and issues the fine. The Section 56 notice has the option of a fine which, if not paid, is an automatic written notice to appear in court. Vehicle owners do not receive notices in the post for Section 56 notices.
Some residents are, however, under the impression that they should wait on a follow-up in the post after they have been issued with a Section 56 notice and so do not take the required action, said the City of Cape Town.
There have been instances where they are then stopped at a roadblock or by a member of the ANPR Unit and discover there is a warrant out for their arrest.
Not only is there the risk of arrest and time in a holding cell, but this also means that we are dealing with a pile of warrants that could have been avoided, said the City.
“We therefore advise all residents who have received Section 56 notices, but do not want to make a representation in court to contest their fines, to please pay them promptly to avoid more serious consequences.”
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