Am I obliged to pay a fine if I parked at a disabled parking bay?

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“What are my rights when my vehicle gets clamped at a parking space such as at a shopping centre afterwards I am forced to pay a fine?”

This question have been asked several times this month alone and therefore DigitNews decided to get the legal answers to this matter.

This is very old and very good question as we get asked this question a lot, especially after month end, when shopping centres are packed to capacity and no one gets in or out in time.  All rules are bent a bit just to get our shopping done,” said Louis Baartman from LP Baartman Attorneys, Conveyancers and Notaries.

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In terms of the National Road Traffic Act, all law enforcement on South Africa’s roads which include roads and thoroughfares, whether within a boomed off area, shopping centre or anywhere else to which the public has access, are defined as public roads and in terms of the Traffic Act, law enforcement may only be practiced by legally appointed local, provincial and national authorities, as well as the South African Police Service (SAPS).

“Any fines issued for contravention of any of the provisions of the National Road Traffic Act must be issued by an authorised traffic authority or the SAPS in strict accordance with either the Criminal Procedure Act or the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act,” said Baartman.

But with that in mind…

The Landlord or his agent is entitled to clamp your wheels if you don’t comply with whatever rules are in place pertaining to the premises. You will be bound by the old ticket cases which say that you have chosen to put yourself in that position, on the landowner’s land you subject yourself to his rules.

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“This is called Volenti Non Fit Inuria. You have subjected yourself to those rules on condition that the rules imposed by the landowner are not unreasonable or against public policy or morals,” said Baartman.

You may however claim for damages if your vehicle is damaged during the ‘clamping process’.

Look out for a legal related article every Monday morning at 11:00. If you have any questions, or would want to see an article on a matter that leave you with questions, get in touch with us on legalstuff@digitnews.co.za. We might use it for our next article.

 

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