File photo by Michael Walker.

Speed cameras can be faulty, so motorists should carefully examine their fines and not just presume they are guilty.

So said Justice Project South Africa chairman Howard Dembovsky after the Joburg metro police department (JMPD) admitted that thousands of fines issued to motorists travelling in Republic Road, close to Brightwater Commons, were illegal. He has promised to cancel them.

Dembovsky said most people who had contacted the Justice Project had received five or more infringement notices from this site, with one getting 12, all of which were incurred in August.

Dembovsky said that judging just from the ones he had received, he realised something had to be wrong.

“This is a fixed camera and most people who use this road know it is there and will not speed. One motorist got information from his tracker, which proved he had not been speeding,” he said.

Dembovsky wrote to JMPD director Gerrie Gerneke to query the obviously defective speed and red-light camera in Republic Road to “seek a solution which would not place a huge administrative burden on members of the public who had been affected by it”.


“Director Gerneke showed us the results of an investigation by the JMPD and their contractor, and it was revealed that this problem resulted from an intermittent software fault which caused speed calculations to be incorrectly calculated, and promised to cancel all the fines issued there in August,” he said.

The camera in question is based on the corner of Republic Road and the entrance to Brightwater Commons, when travelling east to west, from the Randburg city centre towards Malibongwe Drive, and applies only to this particular fixed camera in this direction.

Infringement notices issued at this site, he said, stated that the location was “Republic Road cnr Waterfront Entrance East to West”.

“We are of the opinion that all fines sent by ordinary mail are not legal, but if a person intends paying, they should ensure that the fine is legitimately issued,” Dembovsky said.

All infringement notices resulting from the fault at this specific site incurred from July 1 this year to August 31 will be cancelled by the JMPD. -The Star