The AA called on the RTMC to apologise to motorists and to retract a recent statement they said is a “fear-mongering approach”.
THE ROAD Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has adjusted its statement cautioning motorists who will travel over the festive period that they could be arrested if they have traffic warrants of arrest.
This comes after the Automobile Association (AA) called on the RTMC to apologise to motorists and to retract a recent statement they said is a “fear-mongering approach to motorists intending to make festive journeys”.
The RTMC said last week that motorists would not be able to proceed with their festive journeys if they are found to have outstanding fines.
The AA said that statement was “outrageous and amounts to fear-mongering among South African road users” and had created “a false impression of the RTMC’s law enforcement capability”.
An excerpt from RTMC’s statement issued on December 8 read: “The RTMC advises all motorists to check if they have any outstanding traffic fines before embarking on their festive journeys. Traffic officers are being deployed on all major routes and those found with outstanding traffic fines will not be allowed to proceed.”
The statement by the RTMC announced their festive season road safety campaign in which traffic law enforcement officers have already arrested more than 500 motorists for various traffic offences throughout the country since the launch of the festive season.
According to the AA, the statement was indirectly saying motorists with outstanding traffic fines would be arrested, “a major contravention of South Africa’s laws”.
“The statement from the RTMC suggests it’s looking at scaring motorists with a new (illegal) approach to law enforcement. But there are laws already in place, and it would serve the RTMC and the country better if these were actually enforced,” the AA said.
Clarifying the statement, RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said if motorists have warrants of arrest for outstanding traffic fines, they can be arrested.
“We are encouraging motorists with warrants of arrests for outstanding traffic fines to attend to these before they travel. The AA should first establish facts before jumping to conclusions.
“Officers can execute a warrant against motorists,” said Zwane.