The city of Cape Town has enlisted the help of a computer-aided camera system to collect more than R400 million in outstanding traffic fines.

The city of Cape Town has enlisted the help of a computer-aided camera system to collect more than R400 million in outstanding traffic fines.

The camera scans a vehicle’s registration number and a computer then processes the information and indicates via an alarm whether the number is connected to any previous transgression.

The registration number, owner’s name and the amount of unsettled fines will appear on the computer’s screen. It will also indicate whether any warrants for arrest have been issued, and traffic officials can then stop the offender. Those apprehended have until June 11 to pay the outstanding fines after which action will be taken.

The system was practised on the bustling Modderdam Road in Bellville last week and “read” the registration numbers of about 47 800 vehicles in ten hours. Of those scanned, 692 were identified as having unpaid fines and 186 of the vehicles were registered to people who had been issued with warrants of arrest. All the offenders were told to go to their nearest traffic office before the grace period ended. They can arrange to pay the fines off in instalments.

Metro police, police, traffic department and Labat Traffic Solutions’ officials will set up the cameras at different times and places in the city. Each roadblock will have a pay-point as well as somebody who handles warrants, and facilities to lock up offenders.

"The goal is to make our roads safer," said David Erleigh, mayoral committee member for safety services, "and to establish a culture of respect for the law. We must claim back our roads from offenders."

Original article from Car