|Defiant Johannesburg metro police will continue arresting motorists despite an outcry that most of the offences were “minor”.
And criticism of this policy from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is also unlikely to stop the blitz.
Offences by motorists ranged from driving in the shoulder lane, failing to comply with traffic signs and turning from the wrong lane.
Talk Radio 702 was inundated with calls from frustrated motorists who complained that they were being locked up for minor offences such as driving on a white line.
Metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said this morning that they were concerned about the number of people dying on the roads.
“Fines are not enough of a deterrent. We will continue with our zero-tolerance approach.
“Our view is that we will arrest a person for an offence that justifies an arrest,” he said.
The Star spoke to two senior NPA advocates who agree that arresting motorists for minor offences will jam up the system.
“The general idea is ‘don’t put people in custody’ unless it’s for drunk driving or a really serious offence,” said one.
“Offenders should pay admission of guilt fines. If they don’t, they should be summoned.”
Admission of guilt fines were set up to avoid trials, he said. “If they start arresting everyone for minor offences it will clog up the whole system.”
The second advocate said arrests should be executed only in cases of serious reckless and negligent driving.
The latest string of arrests would make the metro police seem “inconsistent” and show them “not going after the real problems”.
The advocate said arrested people should consider suing the department.