I might have mentioned that during this period where I’m the most broke I have ever been, I had the displeasure of receiving a whopping R600 speeding fine for an infringement caught way back in December, over the period when Jessica was still fighting for survival in the NetCare NICU in Kuilsriver.

Needless to say, I haven’t received a speeding fine in absolute years, and feel that there are enough external factors to allow for a possible reduction in my fine – in other words, here is the letter I faxed back to the Traffic Department on 021 406 8734 in the hopes of getting my fine squashed:

Honourable Sir/Madam

I am writing this letter to you with regards to a speeding fine I incurred on 16 December 2010 at 18:30 on the N2 heading into Somerset West (reference number A4/75652/805/152213), in the hopes that you might have leniency on me and reduce my fine amount to a more manageable sum.

To start off with, please let me make it absolutely clear that I concede that I definitely was travelling over the set speed limit and therefore accept the consequence of my actions. I do not dispute this.

There are however a few external factors I would like you to take into account when reviewing this request.

My first child, Jessica, was born two months prematurely on the 14 November 2011, the result of an emergency Caesar after the sudden onset of pre-eclampsia in my wife. Because my wife is on the lowly Discovery KeyCare Plus plan, we were forced to have the operation out in Kuilsriver at the NetCare hospital there. The operation was a success, but my daughter was placed in an incubator and had to stay in the NICU for just short of two months before we could finally bring her home.

I work in Westlake (Tokai) and live in Gordon’s Bay, meaning that for those two months, my life consisted pretty much of travelling 50 km to work in Westlake in the morning, then 50 km back to Kuilsriver to spend time with my daughter after work, and then finally 40 km back home to sleep for the rest of the evening, meaning that after by December I was pretty much done for – something which definitely affected my driving over this period.

If you are familiar with the stretch of road on which I was trapped speeding, you’ll recognise that it is a very short distance that one has in order to reduce speed from the maximum 120 km of the N2, all the way down to the required 70 km as you enter into Somerset West/Strand. As you can see by my captured speed, I was definitely in the process of slowing down, but obviously not fast enough to make it in time for the new speed zone. This was undoubtedly due to my slower reactions thanks to the fatigue and stress I was currently undergoing during this trying period in my life.

My records will indicate that this is the first speeding fine I have received in absolute years, which should also make it clear that this is not a normal happening for me.

Finally the last reason I request a reduction in the amount fined is purely a monetary reason. With my wife currently still on unpaid maternity leave and without any UIF aid at all, my single salary is simply not enough to pay back the amount requested, hence my request for a reduced or more manageable fine amount.

I thank you for your time and patience.

Kind regards,
Craig Lotter

Hopefully it does the trick. In any event, at least it has bought me a little more time…

Hmm, a little speedier than I thought...