R20 000 fine for speeding motorist

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - A KwaZulu-Natal motorist has been sentenced to a R20 000 fine or three years imprisonment for travelling at 197km/h in a 120km/h zone.

Farouk Ebrahim Patel, 53, from Umtentweni on the south coast, was arrested on Saturday morning while driving a Subaru on the N2 north near Sezela in KwaZulu-Natal.

He appeared before the Scottburgh Magistrate Court on Monday. Five other motorists also appeared before the same court on charges of speeding and were sentenced to fines ranging from R4 000 to R18 000.

Over the past two months, more than two million vehicles and drivers have been stopped and checked and over half a million fines issued for various traffic offences.

During October, more than 2 256 motorists were arrested for drinking and driving. Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an average of 2 000 motorists have been arrested every month for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The traffic law enforcement operations form part of South Africa's "Make Roads Safe" campaign and the National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) unveiled by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele earlier this year.

As part of the NREP, as from 1 October 2010, no less than one million vehicles and drivers will be stopped and checked every month.

This is also intended as a pre-festive season traffic enforcement sweep. This year's festive season road safety campaign, launched by Ndebele earlier this month, focuses on driver and vehicle fitness.

"As we head towards the December holidays, traffic enforcement will be intensified and absolutely no mercy will be shown to road users who break the rules," said Ndebele.

Any driver, who exceeds the prescribed speed limit by more than 30km/h in an urban area and more than 40km/h outside an urban area, will have their driving licence automatically suspended for at least six months (for first-time offenders) as part of their sentence.

Drivers have been urged to follow these tips:

- Ensure vehicle and driver fitness
- Drive with head lights on at all times
- Wear seatbelts
- Do not drink and drive
- Adhere to the prescribed speed limits
- Every 200km or two hours, pull aside, rest and stretch
- Pedestrians and cyclists must wear bright clothes at all times.

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