Prosecutors have been flooded with complaints about traffic fines that are possibly illegal. The National Prosecuting Services will be checking that all prosecutors are not issuing fines more than 30 days after the offences.

Prosecutors have been flooded with complaints about traffic fines that are possibly illegal. The National Prosecuting Services will be checking that all prosecutors are not issuing fines more than 30 days after the offences.

reported that some prosecutors in Pretoria and Springs were issuing fines 40 days after the event.

Jan Henning SC, deputy chief of National Prosecuting Authority, said it has been policy to issue fines 30 days after the event since 1999 and there should not be confusion. “The policy was brought in for incidents when the accused is not on the scene (as in camera fines) and to ensure they receive the written notice within a stipulated time so that they actually remember the incident.

“If the motorist only receives the fine several months after the incident he will not be in a position to raise a defence as he will not even remember what happened,” Henning told CARtoday.com.

Drivers who believe they have invalid fines should inform the senior prosecutor's office or prosecutor of a traffic dispute in writing in the magisterial district where the fine was issued.

CARtoday.com asked Henning about the incident of a Durban reader whose fine was issued two days after the 30-day cutoff period. “The fine is illegal whether it is two days after the cutoff or 10 days,” he said.

The reader, however, did not pay the fine within the allowed time, but a summons has not been issued yet. How will this affect his case? “He should still approach the senior prosecutor and if it is illegal it will be cancelled. However, he must do this before a summons is issued as he could be arrested.

“In cases where the fine has been issued after the stipulated period and a summons has been issued, the motorist must approach the senior prosecutor immediately to prevent the warrant from being served as he could be arrested. The prosecutor will withdraw the fine, but the motorist will still have to pay a fine for missing his court date.

“This is because the traffic offence and the court fine are not related. The traffic fine is there to enforce traffic laws and the other fine is there to enforce discipline in the legal system,” he said.

Original article from Car