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ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES

National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996

Most NB road offences:


reckless or negligent driving inconsiderate driving driving whilst under the influence of intoxicating liquor / drugs driving with an excessive concentration of alcohol in the blood Speeding

Most NB road offences:


reckless or negligent driving inconsiderate driving driving whilst under the influence of intoxicating liquor / drugs driving with an excessive concentration of alcohol in the blood Speeding Common elements:
1. Drove 2. a Vehicle 3. on a Public Road

1. DRIVE
S.1:
driver means any person who drives or attempts to drive any vehicle or who rides or attempts to ride any pedal cycle or who leads any draught, pack or saddle animal or herd or clock of animals, and drive or any like word has a corresponding meaning

S v Van Rooyen 1968 (1) SA 641 (T) s.73(1): presumption relating to proof of drivers identity.

S.1:

2. VEHICLE

vehicle means a device designed or adapted mainly to travel on wheels or crawler tracks and includes such a device which is connected with a draw-bar to a breakdown vehicle and is used as part of the towing equipment of a breakdown vehicle to support any axle or all the axles of a motor vehicle which is being salvaged other than such a device which moves solely on rails. Different definition of motor vehicle

3. PUBLIC ROAD
S.1: public road means any road, street or thoroughfare or any other place (whether a thoroughfare or not) which is commonly used by the public or any section thereof or to which the public or any section thereof has a right of access, and includes a) the verge of any such road, street or thoroughfare; b) any bridge, ferry or drift traversed by any such road, street or thoroughfare; and c) any other work or object forming part of or connected with or belonging to such road, street or thoroughfare;

Roadway: that portion of a road, street or thoroughfare improved, constructed or intended for vehicular traffic which is between the edges of the roadway.

3. PUBLIC ROAD
placewhich is commonly used by the public or any section thereof or to which the public or any section thereof has a right of access S v Kriel 1968 (3) SA 451 (T) 456-457
Section 69(1) presumption: where in any prosecution in terms of the Act it is alleged that an offence was committed on a public road, the road concerned shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be presumed to be a public road.

(A) RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT DRIVING


Section 63 of the Act: (1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a public road recklessly or negligently.
Elements of Offence: 1. Drive 2. a Vehicle 3. on a Public Road 4. Recklessly or Negligently

a) Reckless:
S.63(2): Without restricting the ordinary meaning of the word recklessly any person who drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property shall be deemed to drive that vehicle recklessly.

S v Van Zyl 1969 (1) SA 553 (A)

(b) Negligent:
person drives negligently if he does not drive with the degree of care and skill that the reasonable person would have displayed in the same circumstances. S v Burger 1975 (4) SA 877 (A): reasonable person.

Determination of recklessness or negligence:


s.63(3): In considering whether subsection (1) has been contravened, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including, but without derogating from the generality of subsection (1) or (2):
the nature, condition and use of the public road upon which the contravention is alleged to have been committed, the amount of traffic which at the relevant time was or which could reasonably have been expected to be upon that road, and the speed at and manner in which the vehicle was driven.

(B) INCONSIDERATE DRIVING


Section 64: No person shall drive a vehicle on a public road without reasonable consideration for any other person using the road.

Elements of the Offence: 1. Drive 2. a Vehicle 3. on a Public Road 4. without reasonable consideration for any other person using the road.

(C) DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS


S.65(1): No person shall on a public road a) drive a vehicle; or b) occupy the drivers seat of a motor vehicle the engine of which is running, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect.

Vehicle vs Motor Vehicle:


Motor vehicle: means any self-propelled vehicle & includes a) a trailer; and b) a vehicle having pedals and an engine or an electric motor as an integral part thereof or attached thereto and which is designed or adapted to be propelled by means of such pedals, engine or motor, or both such pedals and engine or motor, but does not include -

Occupying the drivers seat while the engine is still running

While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect

Fault

(D) DRIVING WITH AN EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATION OF ALCOHOL IN THE BLOOD:


S.65(2): No person shall on a public road a) drive a vehicle; or b) occupy the drivers seat of a motor vehicle the engine of which is running, while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of his or her body is not less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres, or in the case of a professional driver referred to in section 32, not less than 0,02 gram per 100 millilitres.

while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of his or her body is not less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres

s.65(3) presumption:
If, in any prosecution for an alleged contravention of a provision of subsection (2), it is proved that the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of the body of the person concerned was not less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres at any time within two hours after the alleged contravention, it shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that such concentration was not less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres at the time of the alleged contravention

S.65(4) presumption:
Where in any prosecution in terms of this Act proof is tendered of the analysis of a specimen of the blood of any person, it shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that any syringe used for obtaining such specimen and the receptacle in which such specimen was placed for despatch to an analyst, were free from any substance or contamination which could have affected the result of such analysis.

Cases:
S v Tentelil 2003 (1) SACR 48 (C) s. 65(2)
DPP, Eastern Cape v Klue 2003 (1) SACR 389 (E) s. 65(1) / (2)

(E) SPEEDING
To drive a vehicle on a public road in excess of the general speed limit applicable to the road in question. (see s.59)
3 types of speed limit:
public road/section in urban area: 60km per hr. public road/section, other than freeway, outside urban area: 100km per hr. Freeway: 120km per hr.

(i) A general speed limit:

(ii) A special speed limit (iii) A speed limit for particular vehicles

Proof of Speed:
(a) estimation of speed by observer; or (b) by measurement of the speed of the vehicle

FURTHER CRIMES CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC ACT


a) To be a driver of a vehicle which is involved in an accident in which another person is killed or injured or suffers damage in respect of any property or animal, and who fails immediately to stop his/her vehicle, or to render assistance to an injured person, or as soon as reasonably practicable (but in any case within 24 hours after the accident) to report the accident at a police station. (= s.61).

b) To drive a vehicle on a public road while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of breath exhaled by such person is not less than 0.24 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres.
(= s.65(5)). Price v Mutual & Federal Insurance Co Ltd 2007 (4) SA 51 (SE)

c) To ride in or drive a vehicle on a public road without the consent of the owner or person in lawful charge of the vehicle, or to set its machinery in motion.
(= s.66).

Contempt of Court
Midi Television (Pty) Ltd v DPP (WC) 2007 (9) BCLR 958 (SCA) S. Hoctor Specific Crimes (2008) 1 SACJ 101-104.