More than 50 unlicensed drivers were caught at a single roadblock over the weekend – as big a cause for concern as the 161 motorists caught driving under the influence. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service issued fines to 53 unlicensed drivers at a roadblock in Mitchells Plain on Friday 20 October 2017. This was one of numerous roadblocks held in the last week.
In addition, officers arrested 22 motorists – 20 for driving under the influence of alcohol, one for reckless and negligent driving, and one for failing to stop when instructed to do so.
Similar roadblocks in Manenberg, Parow, Delft, Fish Hoek and Durbanville netted 119 suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless and negligent driving, assault and riotous behaviour, and possession of a stolen vehicle.
‘The statistics prove week after week that we are sitting with a massive problem. Whether it is drunk driving or driving without a valid licence, it’s clear that many road users simply have no regard for their own safety or that of others. Apart from the fact that their actions have the potential to kill someone, even just a minor collision can have dire consequences for anyone found behind the wheel of a car when they aren’t fit to drive.‘The continued calls for increased enforcement are misplaced because it is clear that enforcement is happening. We need more serious sanctions for these transgressions. Currently, the law does not allow for the arrest of an unlicensed driver, so people will simply continue to do as they please. Even drunk driving cases take an age to finalise and many are thrown out, so there are no real consequences to force behavioural change.
‘We have been advocating for a review of national legislation to ensure more effective enforcement. In the interim, in our bid to make Cape Town safer for its residents, the City is expanding the Traffic By-law to extend traffic enforcement powers to all enforcement staff in the City, while the Western Cape Government is moving ahead with the new Provincial Traffic Act which will allow for the impoundment of vehicles of unlicensed drivers and others.
‘Similar advances are afoot with public transport vehicles that will make the enforcement efforts a great deal more effective and will radically change the driving behaviour of public transport drivers,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The City’s Metro Police Department arrested 63 suspects during its operations in the last week, including 35 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol and 28 suspects for possession of dangerous weapons and drugs.