If you've ever had the misfortune of being 'awarded' a traffic fine in Cape Town, you'll know just what a headache it can be to take care of. Not to mention how unfair it can feel if you've been obeying traffic laws as much as possible while taxi drivers seem to live for breaking these very laws.
Paying your traffic fine sounds simple enough, but it can be a migraine-inducing complicated matter if not done 'the right way'.
Briefly took a look at what should be done, where it should be done, and how. So if you've ever asked yourself (or your friends) "where do I pay my traffic fine(s)?", do yourself a favour and read further.
For your convenience, we've made a brief list of how to tackle the issue of paying traffic fines in Cape Town.
1. What kind of traffic fine did you get?
There are 2 kinds of traffic fines:
Section 56 notice
This is handed to you directly by the lovely traffic officer
Section 341 traffic ticket
This is that much-hated pink leaflet that you're surprised with when you return to your car or open your post if you've been caught on camera.
2. How long do you have before the ticket must be paid?
Section 56 notices must be paid before the payment due date given on the fine. This is normally 2 weeks before the court date given on the fine. The court date is usually 3-4 months from the date it was issued.
Section 341 traffic tickets must be paid within 30 days. If you fail to do so, you'll be given a notice that will inform you that you've been given 30 more days to pay the fine. If you still haven't paid by then, you'll be given a court date by which the payment must be made.
3. Make the payment (if you don't plan to challenge it)
It would be in your best interest to pay asap. You could pay in cash, with a cheque, electronic transfer or by postal order.
There are several ways to pay your fine. You can visit the nearest City of Cape Town Municipal Traffic Department or pay by post at: Traffic Services, Private Bag x19, Roggebaai, 8012.
Or you could register online and pay at Paycity.co.za, or use an ATM if you're at FNB or ABSA. You can pay online if you're at FNB, ABSA or Standard Bank..
You can also pay in court, but we'd recommend you avoid this option.
4. What if you want to challenge the fine?
Well, you can write a letter to the traffic services at the before mentioned address. Be precise and clear about why you feel you don't deserve the ticket. Add a copy of the ticket to your letter. You'd be surprised by how much they'll be willing to lower the fine, or even cancel it completely.
If you've already received a summons, you have to head to the public prosecutor at the court mentioned in the summons. You can state your case there. Do this before your court date.
Many things are considered when people contest their traffic fines. Employment status, awareness of transgressions, financial stability and whether or not you had a real, medical or other emergency.
If you feel the ticket was given to you unlawfully, add any evidence you can.
5. What if you don't pay your fine?
You'll be given a summons if you haven't paid by the expected date. The you'll have a chance to argue your case in court. You will then be ordered to pay the full amount if you haven't managed to get the fine cancelled.
If you don't show up in court, you'll be held in contempt of court and a warrant for your arrest will be issued.
We strongly advise against letting matters go this far.
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