Speedy responses

Geof Kirby, Constantia

So Vard Aman got fined R1 500 for not stopping. Good (“A ‘fine’ cheek if you don’t stop”, Bulletin letters, July 14).

There is such an entrenched culture of entitlement to break the rules that it is refreshing to hear that someone got caught . Mr Aman, you broke the law and have had to pay the price. No doubt if you spread the R1 500 over all the other times you broke the rules and didn’t get caught, the cost per offence would be pennies.

I have a dashcam and you’d be stunned at just how many motorists act out of sheer ignorance, stupidity or willful disobedience to these rules. We have one of the highest accident rates in the world and the City Council is trying to reduce this by getting people like yourself to adhere to the rules.

You are not entitled to interpret these rules as you see fit. A stop sign means stop. (But) you didn’t, got caught and must pay the fine. Next time you see a stop sign, you will stop. It’s taken a R1 500 fine for you to understand this simple rule.

The same goes for all those wandering willies glued to their cellphones on the M3 each morning.

Gerhard Venter, Bergvliet

I just cannot leave Vard Aman’s letter unanswered.

When anyone breaks the law, it is a criminal act that has consequences. It remains a criminal act, regardless of how many people are actually breaking that law. It also remains the responsibility of law enforcers to do just that: enforce the law.

It is ridiculous to justify it when we break the law ourselves, yet expect others to obey what we may deem to be the “more important” laws. Contempt for the law is rife in this day and age, and we do not need to set further bad examples. Rather than practice lawlessness, we need to set examples as law-abiding citizens.

If you are of the opinion that your stop sign should be changed to a yield sign, then lobby accordingly – do not simply keep breaking the law and remain part of the problem.

If someone else copies your example of not stopping, and actually maims or kills one of your loved ones, who will you be blaming then?

Let us set the example of both obeying the law and supporting our law enforcers. It will be to the benefit of our whole community.

Carol Gahwiler, Bergvliet

I was caught at the same stop. I ended up paying R810. I am a pensioner who has never had an accident as I am a careful driver.

Two minutes away from where I was caught is a very busy intersection where traffic violations are occurring probably every two minutes. At this dangerous intersection, I have never seen a traffic cop.

Fining us instead of going to where they can earn their salaries honestly is just plain bullying tactics.

I have told this story to two traffic policemen I have happened to see, and they both had the good grace to look sheepish and express their apologies.

VC Downing, Plumstead

Vard Aman admits that he did not stop at the stop street and now wants to threaten the City with his vote, if they continue to enforce the law in this connection.

Why not pay the fine as such and campaign to the City to have the said stop sign replaced by a yield sign as I have done by writing to the councillor for the Plumstead area. If we get enough people complaining, I am sure something will be done. Just to let you know, I have always stopped at any stop street, even If I can see for miles. I do get frustrated, but the law is the law.

If law enforcement does not enforce the law to the letter, I will be most disappointed.

Jennifer Leak, Plumstead

I read with interest the letter by Vard Aman concerning, the fine for not stopping behind the line at a stop street in Plumstead.

My daughter also received a R1 500 fine last year for stopping over the line at the stop street below the Victoria Road Bridge in Plumstead. She was turning left into the side road that leads to Victoria Road. It is also a three-way stop and in fact the left turn could easily be a yield sign the same as the one found at the corner of Castletown and Rockley Roads.

A few other Plumstead residents were fined at the same time for the same offence. The fine is incredibly high for this minor offence, and, as Vard Aman comments, the traffic police should rather be deployed in high-risk areas where motorists are going through red robots and totally ignoring stop-street signs.

Every day on Main Road in the Plumstead and Wynberg area, major traffic offences are being committed and there is no sign of any traffic police. Instead, they lay in wait in small side streets in quiet suburbs to catch motorists for minor offences.

This is easy money with very little effort or risk.

With all the havoc happening on our roads, it is a disgrace that manpower is being used in this way. I agree with Vard Aman that the Cape Town City Council needs to look into this matter.

John Hall, Plumstead

I can understand Vard’s disappointment after receiving a R1 500 fine for failing to stop at the Coronation/Waterford Road intersection.

Unfortunately, I am one of the few drivers who come to a stop at stop signs, and therefore I always check in my rear-view mirror as I have been rear-ended on a number of occasions.

We need to remember that to live in a civil society, we must have some rules to follow. Speed limits and traffic laws exist so that we drive in a safe manner.

Trevor Roach, Bergvliet

I refer to the letter from Vard Aman. I agree with the writer that the fine of R1 500 would be a nasty surprise for anyone, to put it mildly.

This question of stop signs at intersections with low-density traffic, where one can clearly see that there are no cars coming from any other direction and where visibility is not impeded can be easily resolved by doing what is done in other countries and that is to use yield signs at such intersections rather than stop signs.

This system eliminates the legal requirement of a complete stop at such intersections.

It works well in other countries – why can the traffic department not do the same here?