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Traffic officers will look for these things when they drag you over the Easter holidays – these are your rights

Streets will be busier than usual during the long Easter weekend, when traffic and police officers will no doubt be making their presence known.

The main reason for this is the (often) grim statistics associated with these particularly busy times of the year, including the festive holiday season, writes the classifieds and community website rubber tree.

According to statistics, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country (from April 18 to 21, 2019), there were a total of 80 deaths. During the same period, Limpopo recorded the most deaths with 27, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21), Gauteng (12), Mpumalanga (14), Eastern Cape (9), Western Cape (9), North West (8), Free State (2) and North Cape (2).

Despite warnings, many motorists continue to drive under the influence of alcohol and then pose a danger to themselves, occupants and other road users. In addition, wet weather also plays a role in reaction times, mechanical performance and visibility (i.e. fog, haze, rain) .

Gumtree lists the things traffic officers are most likely to check if they happen to be stopped at a (routine) roadblock:

  • The validity of your driver’s license card and vehicle registration disc.
  • When wearing a seat belt.
  • Take a breathalyzer test (according to SAPS, your blood must contain no more than 0.05% alcohol)
  • Checking the road safety of a vehicle (permissible tire height, lowering, etc.)
  • Dangerous driving includes speeding, carelessness and overtaking at crash barriers.

There have been instances where motorists have reported unfair treatment by law enforcement officers, so it’s important to understand your rights as a motorist and those of a traffic officer. Here you are:

Law enforcement officers may not:

  • physically or verbally abuse you or damage your property.
  • Search you or your property without a warrant except at a roadblock or when you have reasonable cause or consent to a search.
  • Request a bribe.
  • Force you to pay roadside traffic fines even if a facility like a bus is there for it.
  • Refuse to promptly return your driver’s license to force you to pay any outstanding fines unless you have a warrant or a fake driver’s license card.
  • Park or impound your vehicle without a valid reason.

As a driver you can:

  • Ask to see their Certificate of Appointment (a card that entitles them to serve as a Peace Officer).
  • At a roadblock, request that a law enforcement officer provide you with a written power of attorney as provided for in Section 13(8) of the SAPS Act.
  • Request evidence of a warrant if it is claimed that one exists.
  • Refuse to submit to arbitrary searches of you or your property at a “roadside stop” unless you have good cause.

‘I know my rights!’ or trying to tell them how to do their job is the worst thing you can say to a law enforcement officer. While it shouldn’t be the case, it can and often does lead to abusive behavior, Gumtree said.


Read: Definitive Drivers License Renewal for South Africa

Traffic officers will look for these things when they drag you over the Easter holidays – these are your rights

Source link Traffic officers will look for these things when they drag you over the Easter holidays – these are your rights

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