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Is it Legal to be Fined According to the Type of Vehicle You Drive?

Question:

Is it legal to be fined according to the type of vehicle you drive? I.e. can someone driving a Hyundai H100 be fined less for doing the same speed in the same area than someone driving a Mercedes-Benz C200K?

Answer:

A police/traffic official is not allowed to issue a fine based on the type of vehicle driven.

There are two pieces of legislation governing traffic fines in Gauteng: the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic offences Act (AARTO) and the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA). The rest of the country is governed by the Criminal Procedure Act only. Each Act has a schedule describing a list of offences and the fines applicable to those offences. The amounts on each schedule are not the same as they are governed by different pieces of legislation.

The differences between the schedules are not drastic. However, a police/traffic official uses this schedule as a guideline when they issue fines, which could explain slight variations in fine amounts. But when driving the same speed in the same area, fines should be equal regardless of vehicle make.

Where you are of the opinion that the traffic officer has incorrectly fined you, you can lodge a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector.

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