The City of Cape has received permission from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to prosecute unlicensed vehicles via fixed Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Currently, officers using the mobile ANPR devices are allowed to stop a vehicle and fine the driver if the camera shows that the vehicle is unlicensed.
The ANPR devices are linked to the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS).
Now, the Cape Town Traffic Service will start using the fixed Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) cameras to enforce unlicensed vehicles, the city said in a statement on Wednesday (20 March).
“Permission had to be sought from the DPP as there will be no interaction between the offender and an officer, and the prosecution will be technology-driven,” said mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
“The city’s service provider has upgraded its software and introduced additional technology that will enable the automatic generation of evidence files and notices to be sent to vehicle owners.”
Practically, a motorist driving an unlicensed vehicle will only be fined every 60 days, assuming that they do not renew their vehicle licence – irrespective of how many times the vehicle has been identified by the cameras, Smith said.
“We have hundreds of thousands of vehicles on our roads. Not all of them are licensed, and for varying reasons,” he said.
“While some motorists are simply forgetful about the so-called ‘life admin’, others have amassed black marks against their names on the eNaTIS because of unpaid fines and outstanding warrants, which means they can’t renew their licence until they settle their traffic debt.”
According to Smith, between July and December 2018, the Cape Town Traffic Service issued 178,356 fines for unlicensed motor vehicles. This represented a year-on-year increase of 9%.