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Dealing with traffic fines

April 2018

#appealingagainstfines #accidents #trafficfines #fineprocessing #2018

Philip Swanepoel (BA Law, LLB, LLM)

Different fine categories

Traffic fines can easily become a headache for any road user and it is thus important to know how to effectively deal with it in order to save yourself time and trouble. There are two different types of traffic fines which are issued in South Africa. The first type of traffic fine is called a section 56 notice. This is the type of fine you will get if a law enforcement official issues a ticket to you in person. Such a notice will contain both a pay date and a court date (a date on which you are expected to appear in court). The court date will be within 4 months from date of issue. The second type of traffic fine is called a section 341 notice. This is typically the type of traffic fine which you will receive via post if you were caught by a speeding camera, parked illegally or have an expired disk licence. This notice will not have a court date. These notices are issued in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act.

Process after receiving a fine

The process of dealing with these two types of fines as discussed above is very similar. Both types of fines will indicate an amount to be paid. Payment of the amount in the case of a section 56 notice will result in you not having to appear in court. You will have 14 days in which to pay the fine or you can alternatively choose to appear in court in order to appeal against the fine. Failure to pay the fine and failure to appear in court will result in a warrant for your arrest to be issued. Section 341 notices differs in this respect. You are also expected to pay the fine, but failure to do so within 30 days will result in a notice of summons being issued. You will then have another 30 days to pay the fine before summons with a court date is sent to you. It is thus important to deal with traffic fines as quickly as possible in order to avoid any further legal action against yourself.

How to pay your traffic fines

Paying traffic fines is really easy and convenient. You can either pay your traffic fine electronically using websites such as Paycity (Link Here) and PayMyFines (Link Here) or you can pay your fines in person. Physical payments can be done at any cash office of the concerned city, relevant municipal courts or even at some Spar (Kwikpay) stores. You will have to have your fine notice number and ID number ready when paying your fine.

Appealing against your fine

Everyone has the right to contest a traffic fine and this can be done in two different ways. You can firstly send a letter explaining why you are contesting the fine to the relevant municipal traffic department. You will have to attach a copy of the fine. The traffic department will then send the letter to the local court where a public prosecutor will review the fine and send it back to the traffic department. This process will most likely take 6 weeks or longer. You can, alternatively, contact the public prosecutor yourself if a specific court is already indicated on your fine.




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