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How to avoid roadside arrest for unpaid fines

There's nothing more terrifying than approaching a road block knowing you have outstanding fines that need to be paid. Did you know that it's not legal for traffic police to arrest you at the roadside for unpaid fines? Know your rights and you can protect yourself against unscrupulous policemen.

Avoiding arrest
According to Howard Dembovsky, chairman of the Justice Project, outstanding traffic fines don't ever have to be paid at the roadside. Furthermore, under the Criminal Procedure Act, an individual may only be arrested if the police officer holds a warrant of arrest for you, which policemen at a roadblock could never have with them for every car that they stop.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you're being threatened with arrest or the confiscation of your licence at a roadblock, Dembovsky advises that you politely affirm your rights and inform the officers that, in response to their illegal demands, you would have to take legal action against them. In most cases, he says, this will be sufficient to deter them.

Remember that in many instances these intimidation tactics are an attempt to illicit a bribe, he says. If you refuse to be intimidated and let them know that you're aware of your rights they will let you go in almost all cases.

Admitting guilt and paying the fine
If you have an unpaid fine for a traffic infringement that you know you committed there's no harm in admitting guilt by paying the fine on the spot.

Insist that your teen opens a savings account to save not only wages or pocket money but birthday and Christmas money as well. Make them research the different accounts on offer and find the one with the lowest fees and highest interest rates.

Top tips:

  • Insist on paying with a credit or debit card so that you have proof of payment never pay cash!
  • There's no such thing as a spot fine this is simply another way of saying bribe.

Dealing with fines: just do it!
The bottom line is that, if you have received a traffic fine by post, you should pay it if you're guilty or query it immediately if you believe you aren't.

The fine should contain photographic evidence of your transgression and, by looking at the photograph and the date and time information, you should be able to work out if it was in fact you who committed the infringement.

The contact details for queries or representations should also be found on the fine. Do not delay and be sure to start the process right away if you believe that you should not be penalised.

Final word
Remember that the best way to avoid intimidating encounters at roadblocks is to obey the rules of the road! Buckle-up and stay safe, ladies!

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