For the next two weeks, Operation Exodus will take centre stage in ensuring that long-distance public transport operators are fit to take to the roads. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service will today start rolling out its annual Operation Exodus plan, aimed at ensuring the safety of long-distance travellers. Officers will be on duty at all of the major public transport interchanges to ensure that drivers and their vehicles are fit for long road trips.
In the first 10 days of Exodus last year, officers checked 1 402 vehicles, of which 1 014 met the requisite safety requirements. They also recorded more than 17 000 offences at vehicle checkpoints and patrols across the city, including speeding, unlicensed drivers, and driving without operating licences.
‘I appeal to all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy, but also that the people who get behind the wheel of long-distance taxis and buses are fit to do so. Many road deaths can be avoided if road users obey the law and take regular breaks on long trips. There are thousands of commuters who rely on public transport to get to their loved ones over the holiday period and I appeal to operators to not let them down,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.In general enforcement operations over the past week, City traffic officers arrested 46 motorists – 43 of them for drunk driving, one for providing false information, and two for reckless and negligent driving. Officers also issued 2 598 fines for various transgressions. The Automated Number Plate Recognition Unit held a number of roadblocks throughout the city and arrested 53 suspects for outstanding warrants, served 567 warrants, and released 168 motorists on a warning.
The Metro Police Department arrested 24 motorists for drunk driving – one of whom will also face additional charges of reckless and negligent driving and attempted murder after trying to run over an officer while attempting to flee the scene.
In Macassar, Metro Police officers arrested five suspects for possession of drugs on Saturday 10 December 2016. They arrested two more suspects the day before – one for armed robbery in Hanover Park and another for possession of drugs in Somerset West.
On Thursday 8 December 2016, Metro Police officers held a blue bag operation in conjunction with Law Enforcement to clamp down on the illegal possession and sale of City of Cape Town refuse bags. During the operation, a member of the public informed officers that blue bags were being kept at a house in Kruskal Avenue in Bellville. A search of the premises revealed 2 151 City of Cape Town marked blue refuse bags. The property owner was arrested for being in possession of stolen property.
Later that same day, Metro Police officers were on patrol in the Hanover Park area when a member of the public alerted them to two men who were behaving suspiciously. Officers searched the men and found them in possession of a .38 special revolver. A passerby then informed the officers that the men had robbed her. It was later established that the weapon had been stolen in Claremont. The officers booked the suspects at the Philippi police station and while there, a member of the public informed them that she was the victim of a smash-and-grab incident at the corner of Weltevreden and Jakes Gerwel Drive and that her iPhone had been stolen. Officers used a tracing app that led them to a house in Sweet Home Farm in Nyanga. They located the phone as well as several other items and arrested two suspects.
‘This is sterling work by our officers. What’s even more commendable is that a number of these arrests were the result of tip-offs from the public. These are great examples of what policing should be: a partnership between those in uniform and civilians. It is imperative that the public blows the whistle on crime, and even more imperative that the enforcement agencies act on those tip-offs,’ added Alderman Smith.