Motorists who refuse to pay their traffic fines face being blacklisted with credit bureaus and having their cars and other possessions seized.

The tough measures are included in new regulations aimed at improving road safety compliance and the payment rate of traffic fines, which is languishing at a dismal 20%. A massive 180000 traffic fines are issued monthly .

The new regulations will allow for:

  • The moveable assets of motorists to be seized and sold if they fail to pay their fines within three months;
  • A 50% discount for paying within a month; and
  • Motorists who receive fines or penalties to have their licences suspended if they accumulate too many points on a demerit system.

Motorists would be able to pay fines via ATMs, the post office, at retail stores, via bank transfers and over the Internet; and

An eNaTIS Contravention Register is being set up to list motorists’ histories and information on all licensed vehicles.

A total of R72-million is being budgeted for the system, which is to be rolled out in Tshwane in January and nationally by September next year.

Transport spokesman Collen Msibi said the regulations, included in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, would complement the Criminal Procedure Act.

“Habitual offenders make our roads unsafe and they need to start complying with the rules. This is why such harsh measures were considered,” he said. Traffic cops will each be given R13000 handheld computer s to access a national database containing information on all motorists and vehicles, process fines, pick up existing warrants or issue new ones, detect stolen and suspended vehicles and record accident information.

Acting Road Traffic Management Corporation chief executive Thabo Tsholetsane said: “While many people may be raising objections as to the stringent penalties … it is imperative that one consider the total picture in so far as road safety is concerned.”

Until recently the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized cars from drunk drivers and was also considering seizing vehicles from speedsters. However, these plans have been put on the back burner following a Constitutional Court challenge.