“A person is not meant to be prosecuted if the equipment that is being used does not comply with all the legal requirements”
IF YOU thought you could get away with your traffic fine in Kimberley, think again.
Despite recent media reports regarding the accuracy of the ProLaser 4 speed-measuring device used countrywide which could get motorists out of facing legal action, Sol Plaatje municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said yesterday that the city makes use of the ProLaser 2 speed-measuring device.
“This is a much more accurate device and we are not affected at this point. Motorists who are pulled over for speeding may, however, ask to see the calibration and operator’s certificate for the speed measuring device being used by law enforcement officials. They may also ask to see the appointment certificate of the officer operating the equipment. They are reminded that it is within their legal right to question the calibration of the device at any time. All our devices are up to standard,” Matsie said.
It is reported that the prosecuting authority in the Free State has withdrawn all criminal cases against offenders caught by using the ProLaser 4 speed-measuring device – until the legal issues regarding the device have been sorted out.
“We cannot say how long it will take, because it is the traffic department that has to deal with the ProLaser’s shortcomings,” said Phaladi Shuping, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority.
Speeding was declared a priority crime in the Free State in January, which means offenders face either a hefty fine or imprisonment of up to three years.
However, in May Magistrate Terence Green of Villiers acquitted a motorist caught by the ProLaser 4 device. Zaheer Khan was accused of driving at 171km/* , but the State could not prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
In his judgment, Green said that the ProLaser 4, which is manufactured in the US by Kustom Signals and distributed by South African company Truvelo, said the system’s reliability had to be beyond question.
In Khan’s case, the State was unable to show that the ProLaser 4 had undergone all the necessary testing and had been approved by an independent, accredited laboratory, in accordance with South African legislation, Green found.
He found no evidence that the ProLaser 4, used in Khan’s case, was sealed by Truvelo after being calibrated.
Simon Zwane, of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, told a Sunday newspaper that officials were investigating the problem, alongside the relevant institutions, in order to give guidance to traffic authorities.
Bloemfontein attorney Adriaan Janse van Rensburg said it was concerning that the State did not appear to have its house in order.
“A person is not meant to be prosecuted if the equipment that is being used does not comply with all the legal requirements,” he said.