With traffic and metro police officials legally able to arrest motorists for outstanding fines the issue of duplicate number plates could become a problem for a few drivers.

With traffic and metro police officials legally able to arrest motorists for outstanding fines the issue of duplicate number plates could become a problem for a few drivers.

CARtoday.com reported this week that a BMW driver came forward and paid the fines attributed to a car belonging to a Polo driver. The two cars had the same registration numbers. The Polo driver had been fighting to stop receiving fines that detail his registration number, but are clearly not for his car. He had received 13 fines since 1999, ranging from R60 to R450 recorded by speed cameras.

The reported that a woman in Johannesburg discovered her car's registration number had been duplicated with that of a minibus taxi after trying to figure out why she was getting so many fines for the past two years for offences that she did not believe she had committed.

Maria Gubic has a Toyota Conquest, but a copy of a traffic ticket showed that a white minibus Toyota Hi-Ace taxi has the same registration as her car. Gubic said she had tried to find out why she was receiving these fines, but to no avail. "I have been to the Eloff Extension metro police offices several times and I have been sent from door to door, but still the problem can't be solved.

"If the taxi is legally registered, why doesn't it have a registered postal address? Why am I the one getting the fines?" asked Gubic.

Gubic told the she then made a written statement to the metro police objecting to paying for the latest fine, but she received a letter from a prosecutor turning down her objection and telling her to appear in court. But she only received notification of the court date three days after it had taken place.

A warrant for her arrest was then issued. "Why should I go to court if I did nothing wrong," she asked. "It's not the money. It's the principle. I am very unhappy with the justice system."

Johannesburg Metro Police spokesman CC Mackay told the newspaper there have been cases of duplicate number plates. "There are syndicates who are able to access other people's car records and register their cars using the same registrations," Mackay said. He advised Gubic to make a written statement and the police will investigate it.

Metro Police spokesman Wayne Minnaar told CARtoday.com that motorists should immediately report any fines that they believe are not theirs. “The onus is on you to go to the traffic department or metro police and inform them that it is not your fine or to go to a magistrate and explain the situation. Once a warrant of arrest is issued for you because of these fines, you could be arrested so it is best to sort it out immediately,” he said.

Have you had similar problems? What do you think of this situation?

Original article from Car