There are growing concerns as criminals continue to outsmart authorities and unsuspecting motorists by promising to clear traffic fines and this is blamed partly on rising enforcement orders.
A general view of a South African driver’s licence. Picture: Supplied.
JOHANNESBURG – There are growing concerns as criminals continue to outsmart authorities and unsuspecting motorists by promising to clear traffic fines and this is blamed partly on rising enforcement orders.
The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has been accused of ramping up the orders, in keeping with legislation, even if you have just a single violation.
This makes it more difficult to obtain a driver’s licence or to register your vehicle.
The Justice Project South Africa said that criminals were now more than ever preying on desperate motorists.
One man, who doesn’t want to be identified, was swindled out of more than R3,000 by scammers pretending to help him so he could renew his driver’s licence.
“I received a phone call saying that I have R3,000 worth of outstanding fines and I have to pay them immediately otherwise they won’t renew my driver’s licence. I told them I didn’t have that kind of money and they said they’re going to have to press and charges and I might be arrested.”
These practices are not exactly novel but the Justice Project South Africa said that more people were being taken advantage of and this could be attributed in part to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s enforcement orders, which made it near impossible to navigate or negotiate.
As chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, explains, criminals are also getting more savy by printing fake arrest warrants bearing the driver’s name to make things more convincing.
“I do suspect that this is a syndicate that is operating… they go from centre to centre.”
Dembovsky stresses that the Aarto Act does not include warrants of arrest because these are issued by the courts. He’s also concerned tha those who try to report the crimes get little to no help from the authorities.
Eyewitness News has unsuccessfully reached out to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency several times for comment.