HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
Appeal of :
by Hon. Mr. Justice F.X. Rooney on the 12th day of July, 1982.
Monaphathi for the Appellant Mr. Kabatsi for the Crown.
appellant was charged with a contravention of Section 90 (1) of the
Road Traffic and Transport Order 1970 in that on the 3rd
while driving a motor vehicle he disobeyed a road traffic sign, to
wit a robot which showed red. He pleaded not guilty
but on the 13th
August, 1981, he was convicted as charged by Mr. S.M. Ntsoele in the
subordinate court for the Maseru District.
The appellant was
sentenced to pay a fine of M50.00. This appeal is directed against
four grounds of appeal raised, three may be disregarded as being of
no substance whatsoever. The remaining ground of appeal
"The evidence of the Crown is that when the traffic signs showed
amber, the appellant had already passed over the white line
which one should not proceed when the signs show red".
evidence for the Crown was that on the 3rd August, 1981, policewoman
Letele was on duty at Moshoeshoe Road, Maseru next to what
described as the Seputaneng robots. She said that she sew the vehicle
the appellant pass through the red robot at about 7.00 a.m. in the
morning. When the appellant was asked by the witness
why he had gone
against the lights, he denied that he had done so.
cross-examination of this witness, the appellant suggested that she
was drunk at the time and that she had bad eye-sight.
Nomoroana (PW.2), who was also on duty at the intersection, stated
that the appellant was driving last in a line of
three vehicles; the
first two crossed while the light showed amber but the appellant
continued to drive when the light showed red.
The appellant asked one
significant question in cross-examination as follows :
Question : Supposing a vehicle entersthe robots when the robots sign
amber lights, and before he crosses, the robots sign red,
vehicle not to cross?
Answer : The vehile has to stop.
The appellant gave evidence as follows :
"After passing the stop-line and after crossing the pedestrian
crossing, I noticed a vehicle which was stopped and a Traffic
was talking to its driver, so I had to reduce my speed; the driver
before me, myself and those who followed us also stopped
for a short
while. At that juncture the robot signalled amber. The Traffic Police
who had stopped one vehicle indicated for the
driver to park aside.
The man before me and myself crossed then but the lights were then
red and the policeman indicated to me
to park aside, the one who
followed me also crossed and he was shown to park aside as well."
cross-examination, the appellant stated that he had already crossed
the pedestrian crossing when the light turned amber. He repeated
allegation that policewoman Letele was drunk on duty. He called a
witness 'Mapoloko Thabane who said :
"We entered the robot while they signed green, and when we were
on the pedestrian line, they signed amber, but as you drove
and before you went out of the robots they signed red".
witness for defence said:
"As there were many vehicles, we failed to cross at once and
when we were about to move out of the robots, the robots signed
of the evidence to which I have referred, I do not understand why or
how the appellant can challenge the correctness of
The excuse that the light was still showing amber at the time he
commenced to drive across the pedestrian line
is of no avail to the
significance of a steady circular amber indication shall be that :
traffic facing such indication shall stop on the near side of the
stop line and shall remain stationary until green alone
that if the vehicle is so close to the stop line when amber appears
after green that the stop cannot be made safely, the
proceed cautiously against such amber indication". (Road Traffic
and Transport (Amendment) No.2) Regulations 1978-Regulation
no suggestion in the evidence given
that the appellant was in the situation contemplated by the proviso.
On the contrary, he said he was driving slowly.
appeal is dismissed.
12th July, 1982.
for the Crown : The Law Office.
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