Know Your Rights at a Roadblock


The festive season is here and while many of you are looking forward to the end of year parties, the police have also made it a priority to increase their presence on the roads.

Head of FNB’s Law on Call, Tertius Bossert says imperative that you know your rights should you be stopped at a roadblock.

Here 3 things you might not know.  

1.Getting stopped at a roadblock

“When you are stopped at a roadblock, the law enforcement officer will ask you for your personal details, of these you are obliged to give your name and address. Similarly, you are entitled to ask an officer for proof of identity,” says Bossert. You may not be arrested for any outstanding traffic fines, if there is no warrant of arrest for the fines. However, if you have given the officer cause to arrest you, it is not advisable to resist arrest.  

2. If you are arrested

“If the officer arrests you; he is required to read you your rights immediately, and he must take you directly to a police station, nowhere else,” explains Bossert. Depending on what you are arrested for, you will have the right to apply for bail at the police station. If ‘after-hours’ bail is not granted to you, you have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of your arrest.  

3. Know the law

Bossert also suggests that you take some time to familiarise yourself with the laws of the country and the bylaws of your own city or town, especially regarding drinking and driving, unpaid speeding or traffic fines and even smaller matters like the use of fireworks in your community, and ensure that you enjoy yourself within the limits of these laws.