9/25/2005South Africa: Camera Fines May Be Invalidated
A legal challenge to camera enforcement in South Africa may lead to a suspension of all photo tickets in the country.
Prosecutors in South Africa are asking police in the country's largest city, Johannesburg, to cease prosecuting motorists who do not pay fines issued by red light cameras and speed cameras. A lawyer has been challenging the legality of photo tickets and authorities believe he has a good chance of winning. The lawyer argues that under the country's Criminal Procedure Act, section 341, a police officer must issue a fine to a motorist at the time of violation -- making invalid any machine-mailed summons issued a camera.
Authorities are worried that a successful challenge could throw the country into financial crisis as cities have become dependent on the revenue generated by the devices.
The decision by the prosecution authorities in Ekurhuleni may plunge cities and towns throughout the country into financial crisis because traffic fines contribute hugely to revenues of municipalities. Using the rule of general application, motorists in other areas who are sent fines emanating from unmanned cameras may also not pay the fines.Source: Speed camera fines illegal? (News 24 (South Africa), 9/25/2005)
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