Alcohol, drag-racing, a recipe for disaster

2019-01-17 06:00
A firearm seized during a police crackdown. on organized crime PhoTO: SAPS

A firearm seized during a police crackdown. on organized crime PhoTO: SAPS

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The City of Cape Town’s Drink Driving Awareness/Random Breathalyser Testing Unit arrested four taxi drivers on Monday morning during a roadblock on the Borcherd’s Quarry link onto the N2.

The suspects were all behind the wheel of vehicles filled with passengers, heading to work and school.

The drivers are among 65 arrests made by the City’s traffic officers in the last week – more than half for drunk driving.

“This is sadly not unusual, as we have had a number of incidents where taxi drivers have been caught well over the legal blood-alcohol limit during the morning peak.

“What this speaks to is lack of regard for the safety of paying customers, without whom the driver would have no income,” said City’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security JP Smith. “Odds are that these drivers were drinking until late and then got up for work after a few hours’ sleep. It’s important to realise that alcohol remains in the bloodstream for far longer than most people realise and there is a very good chance that you are still legally drunk the morning after and not fit to be behind the wheel.”

The arrest of the four suspects brings the number of motorists arrested by the Cape Town Traffic Service to 65 in the last week for drunk driving, outstanding warrants and reckless and negligent driving.

Nearly a third of all arrests happened during an illegal street racing operation in the Athlone/Mitchells Plain area on Saturday 12 January.

The operation resulted in 19 arrests – six for driving under the influence, one for furnishing false information and 12 for reckless and negligent driving. Officers also issued 649 fines for various offences.

“We receive ongoing complaints from the public about illegal street racing.

Athlone and Mitchells Plain are two of the many hot spots around the metropole and it is a massive undertaking to try and clamp down on this dangerous pastime.

One of the drivers arrested during the operation was four times over the legal limit. This, combined with the need for speed that fuels these gatherings, is a recipe for disaster as we have seen so many times before, but still there is very little change in behaviour,’ said Smith.

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