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Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
As we enter the festive season, many of us will be on the road travelling to our holiday destinations or visiting family and friends all over the country. Scorpion Legal Protection shares some tips for avoiding legal and safety troubles when travelling this season. Don’t skip these checks!
Make sure both your vehicle licence and your driver’s licence are valid. Driving without a valid licence is against the law, and if you are caught doing so, you could be fined. Each province and jurisdiction sets its own penalties in terms of the offences laid out in the National Road Travel Act.
There are specific criteria for determining a car’s roadworthiness, but some that you can look out for are: doors must be firmly attached, seatbelts must work properly, tyres must have a tread of at least 1.6 mm, all lights must be in working order, windscreen must be free of cracks and wipers must work properly and be in good condition. Apart from being unsafe for both you and other motorists on the road, if your car is found to be unroadworthy, it can be impounded, and you can be fined.
Driving without vehicle insurance is reckless. If you do have vehicle insurance, make sure you check that all your details are up to date, as the insurer could reject your claim if they are not. Things like driving without a valid licence or a vehicle that is not roadworthy could also get your claim rejected.
This one is for during your travel, but it’s important to mention. There are instances where you can be arrested on the spot under the 2008 AARTO Regulations –
There are areas where average speed prosecution is done, so make sure you stick to the speed limits and check the road signs.
Be careful of using your cellphone while driving, even if it is to check your route on an app. The law does not make a distinction between checking your route and chatting on your phone, and, depending on the area, you could have your phone confiscated and/or get a fine (the Western Cape is known for using the confiscation and release method).
NB: You cannot be arrested for outstanding fines unless a warrant of arrest has been issued. A traffic fine is not an arrest warrant.
You may also be interested in:
5 things officers may not do at a roadblock
What to do in a car accident
Do I get money if my insurer wins the case?
Got a legal question for us? Ask it at the next Scorpion Live Q&A (every first Thursday of the month from 11:30-13:30) on the Scorpion Legal Protection Facebook page where you can get free legal advice – you don’t have to be a member.
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 6 December 2022
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