The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has given the City the go-ahead to prosecute unlicenced vehicles. Picture: Chris Collingridge/African News Agency (ANA) Archives 351

Cape Town - Owners of unlicenced vehicles will soon start receiving fines in the post. That’s because the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has given the City the go-ahead to prosecute unlicenced 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 unlicenced. 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 unlicenced vehicles.

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.

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 unlicenced 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," said Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith. 

"We have hundreds of thousands of vehicles on our roads. Not all of them are licenced, and for varying reasons. 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."

The introduction of the remote enforcement of unlicenced vehicles will simply be another reminder to do the right thing, Smith said.

Between July and December 2018, the Cape Town Traffic Service issued 178 356 fines for unlicenced motor vehicles. This represented a year-on-year increase of 9%.

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