October is Transport Month, placing transport infrastructure projects, the use of public transport, and the promotion of road safety in the spotlight. With this in mind, the City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service will be stepping up operations targeting outstanding warrants, with a particular emphasis on habitual and serious offenders. Intensive operations using the City’s automatic number plate recognition system will take place over the next week. Read more below:
As part of this initiative, each Traffic Services district will be handed a list of outstanding warrants in their area – in some cases up to 1 000 – with the aim that as many as possible are executed and that these residents face the consequences of their transgressions. Metro Police will also be co-opted into operations, with each regional director having been issued a list of 100 ‘most wanted’ drivers as a challenge to see who can serve the most warrants.
‘There are a significant number of residents within our city who wilfully ignore the traffic fines they accumulate in the belief that these fines will just disappear, or that the City will not follow up. In many cases these are the same residents who think that speed limits, parking restrictions, and licensing regulations do not apply to them.‘The National Road Traffic Act, which guides our laws, aims to set out what is both safe and courteous driving behaviour. If it is to be effective, this system of rules relies on conformity by all road users as it creates a set of expected behaviours which inform drivers’ decisions. It is when road users behave unexpectedly that the risk of accidents increases,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
If a driver has a double contempt of court warrant, a bench warrant, or more than three warrants against their name where the summonses were personally served, they will be arrested immediately. In other cases with warrants outstanding, the motorist will be given the option of paying the fine on the spot or be issued with a Section 72 notice to appear in court.
‘Much good work has been done to lower the death toll on the roads, which at one point was on par with the number of deaths in the country due to violent crime. Unless drivers feel the consequences of their actions, there is a risk that the results we have achieved through raising awareness and enforcement will not be sustained. The Western Cape currently has the highest rate of paid fines in the country, as well as the lowest accident rate, and we believe this is no coincidence,’ said Alderman Smith.
Residents with outstanding fines are encouraged to settle these as soon as possible to avoid further legal action.