GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Two irate Wilderness residents are accusing the George Municipality of unfair collections for the coffers with a speed camera in Kaaimans Pass that is aimed at traffic driving in the direction of George.
The speed limit is 60km/h with an 80km/h sign board in sight up ahead.
The speed measuring equipment (SME) concerned, which they say was installed earlier this year, is located on the opposite side of the road near the camera that traps vehicles speeding downhill in the direction of Wilderness. The complainants say they noticed technicians working on the unit earlier this year.
The two men, who want to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised, reckon the authorities are being "overzealous" and have in the process contravened some regulations regarding SME. Residents who have been travelling regularly along here for years without being caught on their way to George, have started receiving fines during the last couple of months.
The complainants point out that certain requirements in the standards of the technical committee for standards and procedures for traffic control and traffic control equipment (TCSP) are not being met by the SME at this location.
Says the first complainant, "Of the 13 tickets my wife and I have received, five have two vehicles in the picture and one has three. If there is more than one vehicle in the photo, it is automatically invalid. In the remainder of our tickets, one cannot discern if there is perhaps another vehicle in the picture.
Nonetheless, the fines are sent out in the hope that we will be scared enough to pay them. And I know people who have paid. The law as I understand it, is that someone needs to review the fines to check validity before they are sent out."
The same applies to the four fines that the second complainant and his wife received. He says other vehicles were also in the measurement area. "It is therefore reasonable to assume that this requirement is never complied with," he says.
He furthermore questions if the SME installation meets certain minimum distances from the applicable speed sign boards and other road signs. He says part of the "old" camera equipment is immediately adjacent to the "new" camera unit and the 80km/h road sign is clearly within 200 metres of the "new" installation. The TCSP standards state that no prosecution may be instituted where the speed measurement was taken within 300 metres of the start of the speed limit zone.
He points out that the TCSP standards dictate that installations have to be checked at least every seven days for correct operation, and the results must be recorded. His advice to motorists is that this information from an independent certified authority would need to be tabled in the traffic court and should be insisted upon by the public if they choose to go to court.
The George Municipality last week responded to the first complainant's letter, saying that the cameras are legal. They have been there for years to cover traffic in both directions, and have been approved by the Attorney General. No further comment was received upon enquiry this week.
Sanral referred all queries relating to legal compliance to George Municipality.
Motorists can find information regarding the TCSP here.
Read the letter on the letters page elsewhere in this issue.
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