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(Traffic) lights, action … but hang on, where are the cameras?

It looks like Big Brother hasn’t been watching you, Joburg. 

Traffic cameras in the city haven’t worked for over a year, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Xolani Fihla revealed this week. He said this also put a halt to prosecutions for speeding.

In an interview with eNCA Fihla said the previous service provider contract for the cameras ended on 31 May 2021, but the city hoped that by July 2022, a contract and a service provider would be picked to resume speed prosecutions.

Before the last contract ended, the city of Joburg received R3 million in fines per month from motorists. That’s a potential loss of R36m – ouch for them, but yay for us?

Don’t use this news to unleash your inner speed demon, though. Fihla says that because the cameras haven’t been working, JMPD officers have been more visible in hotspots and were still issuing handwritten fines.

Meanwhile, the City of Johannesburg has reintroduced “smart roadblocks”. These use automatic number plate recognition technology to see who has outstanding fines, cloned number plates or even outstanding traffic warrants. The system, mentioned by mayor Mpho Phalatse in her state of the city address, has already helped collect R14 Million in outstanding fines.

Motorists with outstanding fines can use credit or debit cards and even cash to pay their fees on the spot during these roadblocks. The absence of a payment method could lead to an arrest. Remember that before you quench your need for speed.

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