Transport department fails the public over e-toll penalties: DA
The Democratic Alliance has accused the transport department of sneaking through new e-toll regulations over the holiday period and without adequately seeking the public’s views.
The Department of Transport gazetted a notice to amend the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act to bring e-toll violations under the adjudication of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency‚ making e-toll abstainers subject to traffic fines‚ DA MP Manny de Freitas said in a statement on Wednesday.
Amendments to the infringement notice process are to accommodate multiple entries on single pages of the Act’s infringement form. This means each e-toll gantry charge to a single driver can be combined into a single infringement.
The amendments will also enable infringement notices to be served using postal mail‚ e-mail or cell phone text message.
“No doubt‚ the DoT and Sanral (South African National Roads Agency Limited) will claim that they have met the legal requirements for public participation and comment - but this sneaky December holiday move fails the real spirit of the public comment test‚” said De Freitas.
The DA’s objections against this amendment include:
- Under the amendment there is no unique reference number per gantry infringement‚ which is required particularly when disputes arise as to specific e-toll gantry charges.
- No magisterial district is noted‚ which is also required should disputes arise.
- No proof is provided that a particular vehicle was at a scene of the infringement because there is no photographic evidence included in the new notices.
- The fact that the notification process does not need to be delivered through registered mail is potentially unlawful because a court adjudicating an infringement will have no proof that an accused ever received such a notice.