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Motorists with outstanding fines will soon be able to ‘pay as they go’, courtesy of new technology.

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The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service is adding another technological advancement to its arsenal with the roll-out of smart SMS technology that will allow motorists to pay fines via their cellphones, tablets or personal computers.

The technology has been brought on stream by the City’s service provider who is responsible for generating and sending fine notices.

For the past few months, the service provider has been testing the SMS service. A message containing a link to a secure webpage is delivered to a motorist’s cellphone. They are then able to view the fine by inputting their identification number, with additional options to download or e-mail the fine or even pay it directly from the link.The smart short messages will not replace the traditional mailing of first notices as these will still be sent via the South African Post Office. The service will allow the City to monitor exactly how many people have received the text message, opened it, and downloaded or paid the fine.

‘These smart text messages are designed to make life easier for our residents and take the pain out of paying traffic fines. Secondly, they’ll be very useful in ensuring that motorists receive timeous notification of outstanding fines as we do experience challenges with first notices getting lost or being delayed in the postal system, but also motorists who don’t update their address details on eNatis and subsequently do not receive the fines,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The website used is https://fines.capetown.gov.za/4/test. It contains a privacy policy disclaimer which has to be read before a fine can be viewed. The wording for the text messages will resemble the following: ‘Notice posted for traffic fine C7/11745/806/024423 for ID xxxxx. Pay R2 000 at Cape Town Traffic Dept. Ensure vehicle registration address is correct. If not you may not receive traffic fine. Legal process will continue. Next Step summons to appear in court’.

Traffic fines can be viewed on the following mobile operating systems: Android, Windows, IOS, Blackberry, Symbian, and Linux. The system is also compatible with desktop computers and tablets. The browser compatibility includes: Internet Explorer 7 to 11, Internet Explorer mobile, Firefox, Chrome and Android, Opera, Safari, Dolphin and Konqueror.

‘It’s going to take a while for people to get used to this new service. I want to remind the public that this is simply one more option available to them to pay their outstanding fines. You can still use any of the existing channels to pay fines. This service is meant to simplify life for everyone involved and I invite the public to use the system and give us feedback so that we can tweak it if need be. We’re living in a technologically driven world and I’m quite excited that we’re getting into the fast lane with this initiative,’ added Alderman Smith.

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