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Author Topic:

E Toll

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Mefiante
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« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2013, 08:14:30 AM »

And this opens up a can of legal worms. The question is this: is a toll road a private road or a public road? If it is public, why can you only use it if you pay for it? If it is private, then on which grounds can traffic cops hang around there to force you to uncover your car's number plate?

It seems to me that toll roads very dangerously blur the distinction between private and public property.
And
Here's another legal conundrum. If you break the law, they have to prove it was you before they can find you guilty.
It’s important to realise just how heavily Sanral and the govvermint have stacked the deck against Joe and Jane Public.  There is a piece of legislation specifically for e-tolling.  It overrides other relevant statutes, laws and legal principles.  For example, the aforementioned no-opt-out clause goes directly against what lies at the heart of contract law.  Similarly, if you receive an e-toll bill and wish to dispute it, the onus of proof is on you that the bill is erroneous, despite the fact that Sanral could easily prove their claim (at least in principle — apparently their systems will keep detailed records, including time-stamped video footage, of vehicles passing individual gantries).  Also, the presumption is always that the registered owner is the driver, and let’s not forget here that as many as 40% of the number plates on the road are cloned.  Moreover, e-tolling itself and the e-toll debt collection procedures are not subject to the provisions of the National Credit Act of 2007.

And this is just one of several dimensions of e-tolling’s insidiousness.

In the long run it will of course backfire on them big time, but one has to wonder how much harm they are going to inflict on the country before we finally kick them out, and when we do kick them out, whether we are not going to replace them with something even worse (like, for example, a certain champion of the poor with a penchant for red berets and very expensive wrist watches).
Well, it was entirely predictable that certain opportunistic populists and other politicians with a penchant for demagoguery would seize upon the issue for the political currency that could be milked from it.  I think the fear of even worse should not deter efforts to oppose what is clearly bad enough already because if it does, you can be sure that even worse will eventually arrive, one way or another.  “All that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”

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Mefiante
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« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2013, 08:32:41 AM »

I wonder how hackable they are. I have to guess they take some kind of RFID-alike form. If so, very.
Allegedly one can purchase active scramblers online that mess with the RF information system.  If so, I have a business proposition… Wink

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2013, 08:41:29 AM »

“All that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”
But in this case we need good people doing nothing! Tongue

r.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2013, 09:13:40 AM »

Okay, okay, bad choice of hackneyed aphorism.  How about “Life is like a box of e-tags. You never know what bill you’re gonna get.”? Cheesy

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Mefiante
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« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2013, 11:57:13 AM »

Oh, good. Then at least drivers will soon get a feel for how scarce or common they really are, in spite of the claimed numbers.
Here’s a picture of an e-tag mounted as per Sanral’s recommendations:



As you can see, it’s hard to miss.

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brianvds
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« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2013, 13:00:53 PM »

It’s important to realise just how heavily Sanral and the govvermint have stacked the deck against Joe and Jane Public.  There is a piece of legislation specifically for e-tolling.  It overrides other relevant statutes, laws and legal principles.  For example, the aforementioned no-opt-out clause goes directly against what lies at the heart of contract law.  Similarly, if you receive an e-toll bill and wish to dispute it, the onus of proof is on you that the bill is erroneous, despite the fact that Sanral could easily prove their claim (at least in principle — apparently their systems will keep detailed records, including time-stamped video footage, of vehicles passing individual gantries).  Also, the presumption is always that the registered owner is the driver, and let’s not forget here that as many as 40% of the number plates on the road are cloned.  Moreover, e-tolling itself and the e-toll debt collection procedures are not subject to the provisions of the National Credit Act of 2007.

Sounds like they may end up running afoul of the constitution. If memory serves the issue has already been in the constitutional court, but I don't think all the issues you bring up here were thrashed out in that particular case.

Anyway, with or without constitutional legitimacy, with sufficient non-compliance, the whole thing will collapse. I don't think one necessarily even needs many thousands of non-compliants (is that a word?). Imagine even two or three thousand drivers use the road and then flatly refuse to pay. Are they really going to arrest all three thousand? What if some of those drivers include prominent businessmen, clergy, etc.?

Perhaps now is the time to request Desmond Tutu to go take a drive on the toll road and then refuse to pay...

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« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2013, 13:14:38 PM »

Scrap the alternative route. I went today from Sandton back to Middelburg and set the GPS to avoid "motorways". Went for a trip trough Alaxandria and then the R25 past Babsfontein. It added 90 minutes to my trip, but that was maybe on account of the many traffic lights that were out of order. Wonder if that was done on purpose? It was a good 30 to 40% that was out.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2013, 13:26:09 PM »

As you can see, it’s hard to miss.
Thanks for the pic. But jeez, it looks fugly enough to compete with bugsplatter. Angry

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Mefiante
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« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2013, 13:28:14 PM »

Sounds like they may end up running afoul of the constitution. If memory serves the issue has already been in the constitutional court, but I don't think all the issues you bring up here were thrashed out in that particular case.
Yes, you are entirely correct that not all e-tolling’s legal ins and outs have yet been properly tested in the courts.  In fact, the High Court said as much during OUTA’s last challenge, leaving considerable scope for further legal challenges.  That’s why there’s so much interest by various parties in getting a test case ASAP, the ultimate aim being to settle looming questions about the e-tolling legislation’s constitutionality.  The Constitutional Court ruling against OUTA was limited to OUTA’s application that e-tolling is unconstitutional in principle (which it isn’t due to the state’s mandate from the people).  However, since it was not part of the application, the Constitutional Court made no rulings or pronouncements about how the system was implemented.  The downside is that all of this will take quite a long time to sort out.  Probably, the next legal step will be Justice Project SA’s application to the High Court to compel Sanral/Dept of Transport to provide clear and comprehensive details re the toll and debt collection procedures.

On a more positive note, it currently seems that the number of non-compliant motorists will wildly exceed the 3,000 mark you suggest.  It may even hit hundreds of thousands.

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2013, 13:52:18 PM »

Yup. I would like to see them arrest 100k's, perhaps millions, of motorists and detain them for 6 months. Gauteng will suffer an economic collapse.

Quote from: Tweefo
Scrap the alternative route.


Yeah, Joburg's been a bit of a mess since those storms came. I dunno how many of you live on/near "ground zero" here but it's been a mess, heavy rains usually do a job on our robots and this time it did a proper job. Worse then when on Tuesday 1/2 the city decided to bypass the motorways, and the result was mind-blowing traffic jams. (Yes, it really takes that long to fix robots in this wonderful ANC-controlled municipality)

I had to deploy every weapon in my traffic-dodging arsenal this week to get home at a reasonable hour. Being a long-time resident and hating traffic to the level that I do, that arsenal is fairly well developed, unlike the clueless hoards who are now learning the hard way which routes not to attempt... which makes matters so much worse.
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brianvds
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« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2013, 17:42:38 PM »

Had a talk with my brother, who is a lawyer. He points out another problem with the toll roads, namely that they defeat the whole point of progressive taxation. That is to say, normally, the richer you are, the more tax you pay and the more you can indeed afford to pay.

Not so with toll roads, where everyone is forced to pay the same to use the feeway, er, freeway. Many people who use the road for their daily commute already struggle to make ends meet; they will now suddenly face up to a R1000 extra per month just to get to work and back. They will surely non-comply in their thousands; they'll have no other choice.

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2013, 18:08:00 PM »

Had a talk with my brother, who is a lawyer.
Don't be too hard on yourself. It could happen in any family. Tongue Wink

Quote
He points out another problem with the toll roads, namely that they defeat the whole point of progressive taxation.
True, and that also goes for VAT, fuel levies and capital gains tax! It's only PAYE that escalates with income AFAIK. Looks to me as if taxes are geared to screw the lower to middle income classes. Maybe because it offers a bigger tax base (more people).

Rigil


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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2013, 11:56:43 AM »

Post office workers and Traffic officers getting in on the action.
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« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2013, 19:48:27 PM »


For once I am with Cosato. Viva!
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Mefiante
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« Reply #74 on: December 17, 2013, 09:48:32 AM »

SANRAL’s Kapsch OCR system is much less reliable than you think and that’s why they’re feverishly pushing e-tags and registration.  It could be said that the OCR system doesn’t Kapschure perfectly.  To adapt one politician’s recent slogan, “Don’t buy e-tag!  Don’t buy!”

'Luthon64
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