Drivers' phones confiscated in Cape Town

2012-07-06 10:08

Cape Town - A Cape Town taxi driver has become the first person in the city to have his cellphone confiscated after he was caught talking on his phone without a head set or car kit while driving.

The Cape Argus reported that the new by-law had taken effect in Cape Town on Thursday.

Jean-Benoit Biyoko was caught while driving in Long Street in the city centre.

A traffic spokesperson said Biyoko was very apologetic and co-operative.

His cellphone was confiscated and would be returned to him after 24 hours. Biyoko could keep his SIM card and memory card and was fined R500 for talking on his cellphone while driving.

An undercover “ghost squad” would be patrolling the city streets to catch offenders.

The Cape Times reported on Friday that a total of 16 motorists had their phones seized during the first day of the clamp down on drivers using their devices without a hands-free kit.

Most claimed they were unaware of the new by-law.

- What do you think of the by-law? Have you been caught? Send us your thoughts.

  • ron.bilyard - 2012-07-06 10:17

    I thought the fine was going to be R5000-00?

      selwyn.lloyd.37 - 2012-07-06 10:24

      R1500 not R5000.

      jcadman3 - 2012-07-06 10:36

      Nope R500 is correct - Thats the fine to get your phone back 24hrs later ...

      jonathancfarrell - 2012-07-06 11:31

      It's a great initiative and lets see how it works out! But there are loads of people that are not aware of this law...

      poloyatonkim - 2012-07-06 11:36

      And those who eat while they are driving their food must be taken away.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-07-06 11:42

      Fines start at R500 and then as you become a repeat offender - it increases until it reaches R5000.00... I love this new law!

      Blou - 2012-07-06 11:47

      Just went back to the article. It says R500 now. I also remembered R5000 in the original article...

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-06 12:06

      News24 did post a follow-up comment to apologise for the incorrect amount that was initially reported.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:12

      They said afterward it was a typo...

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:13

      @Alicia: take their licence plate numbers and report them...

      barker.ruing - 2012-07-06 12:32

      @Leonard The fine is R500-00. It was a journalistic typo. We all need to understand the difference between the two fines you mention. R500-00 for talking on a cell phone while driving is a By-Law contravention, whilst parking too close to a pedestrian crossing is part of the National Road Traffic Act. The cell phone fine could actually be issued twice. One for the By-Law and one for the NRTA.

      oomkrummel.krummel - 2012-07-06 14:20

      No fones, no smoking, no eating, no nothing...this is Cape Town broooo, we can only do one thing at a time down here...

      diaan.robbertse - 2012-07-06 14:32

      Pity it is not R5000.00 Really hope this catch on in the whole country . should be R5000.00 for a fist offence and a two weeks confiscation of your phone .. Mark my words , this will decrease the accident rate significantly in Cape town. cant wait for it to be implimented in the rest of the country , it would decreace my change of being hit by a absent minded driver by 50%

  • Aaron - 2012-07-06 10:19

    excellent. should be applied country wide

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-06 10:34

      In Durban taxi drivers are allowed to talk on their phones while driving !

  • wilhelm.grobbelaar - 2012-07-06 10:19

    now lets see how criminals exploit this to steal motorists cell phones.

      richard.fahrenfort - 2012-07-06 10:40

      They really shouldn't be texting/talking and driving without a hands free kit or bluetooth headset anyway. It's obvious that one loses a significant amount of control of a vehicle when youre paying attention to the phone and not the road ahead.

  • Sandy - 2012-07-06 10:20

    funny how the cops are so efficient catching soft targets like this, but are never around when there is real work to do - maybe they are trying to hit their budgeted 'targets'?

      klipkop.degroote - 2012-07-06 10:40

      invest in a hands-free kit/bluetooth headset. And stop texting and driving Sandy, you can kill people and yourself.

      chris.cunning.14 - 2012-07-06 11:24

      @klipkop: Drunk driving also kills people, so does un-roadworthy cars, so does tired people who drive home late from work, so does bald tires, so does worn shocks, so does predestines, so does people who don't obey road rules. It's one of many things, so I agree, it's soft targets.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-07-06 12:31

      I agree Sandy. They always hit the soft targets the hardest but yet our unroadworthy taxi's are killing more ppl on our roads and they are not getting the full brunt of the law. They are a law unto themselves and our traffic cops are to scared to do anything. - 2012-07-06 15:29

      The reason why these cops are efficient is because they are Cape Town Metro Cops administered by the DA. The rest just don't have that kind of leadership.

  • mariska.ras - 2012-07-06 10:27

    This is great!!!

      poloyatonkim - 2012-07-06 11:38

      They go for soft targets, lets see if they can do the same at the Bellville Taxi rank...

  • bantu.landingwe - 2012-07-06 10:41

    I wish Rapists/murders can't be treated like that, have camera's and all these measures to catch them..

  • linda.c.vanbruggen - 2012-07-06 10:45

    I am 100% for this. It irritates the living daylights out of me when people on phones forget how to drive while talking/texting. It is dangerous and very very irritating, so just get with the programme. Can you actually remember the time before we had cellphones? It was less stressful for everyone - not only the road users.

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-07-06 14:32

      not only texting whilst driving how about the morons that text whilst WALKING in shopping malls with looking where they they going. Can't they just stop, read/reply the text, then continue on their merry way?

  • ernieschellhorn - 2012-07-06 10:52

    About time !!!

  • silindile.mabaso.9 - 2012-07-06 11:00

    Surely other motorists lives are worth more than a 24 hour confiscation and a R500 fine. Its just as dangerous as drinking n driving, the same penalty should apply.

  • nhlanhla.pompi - 2012-07-06 11:07

    I fore-see a lot of phones going missing from custody. Fix the police first and then impliment these laws.

  • solulele.mrcool - 2012-07-06 11:20

    It's time for me to sell "hands-free kits" ... business

  • mskittylicious - 2012-07-06 11:24

    It's about time. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been wiped out by some idiot busy with his phone. The worst was when I saw someone in a Driving School's car busy texting on the highway. Unbelievable!!!!!

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:12

    Good!!! Get the morons who cause accidents and hold up traffic because they need to finish typing their BBM message.

  • boltonbarry - 2012-07-06 12:13

    Awesome should happen all over the country

  • john.coetzee.90 - 2012-07-06 12:38

    This is fantastic wish they would take the cars as well - if you can spend R200K on a car I am sure you can find R1000 for a car kit or are you just to mean or to stupid

  • phakade.khanyile - 2012-07-06 12:54

    Cape Town doesn't play. Roll out nationally I say

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-07-06 12:57

    "Sorry darling. I could not made it home last night. When coming from the work the cops confiscate my phone and than I had two flat tires, but could phone no-one. The public phones were all out of order and with the high costs no-one wanted to lend me a phone. I left my sim by accident in the phone. I was very confused and afraid. It was a total mess-up, but do not worry. I had a good night sleep with an old buddy of mine in the city. His name is "Maverick" No, sorry love, he does not belief in phones. He said it gives brain cancer. Yes, my only one, I will be early home tonight"

  • Jayne - 2012-07-06 13:04

    Let the 'disappearance' of confiscated cellphones begin!

  • lubabalo.kahla - 2012-07-06 13:42

    bad habit I need to kick, I do have a hands free kit but I don’t my passengers hearing my conversation hence I don’t use it. I'm on BBM WhatsApp and it’s a bad habit. Best intervention for me

  • christopher.pool - 2012-07-06 13:42

    I bet each one of the people commenting here are guilty of this offence at some stage. Either talking or texting.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-07-06 13:53

    Brilliant, one way of the police making money for their Christmas bash. But the money would be better spent on helping the poor.

      gunther.wiegenhagen - 2012-07-06 14:14

      Think the police must be checked as well for talking or texting while driving.... see them all the time doing that O-o

  • weldon.broughton - 2012-07-06 15:01

    Is that all they need to come down to the Tokai area

  • weldon.broughton - 2012-07-06 15:06

    Thw worst offenders are people driving new cars which have handfree kits built

  • dventer - 2012-07-06 15:15

    "Oh let's look how we can make more money, we'll target Easy Targets, you know, those who are talking on their phone probably business related, you know, those driving the economy."

  • 1McBird - 2012-07-10 20:06

    FANTASTIC!!....Now, how about outlawing the use of GPS to warn motorists of speed traps?

  • Nicolene Barnard - 2014-01-17 12:23

    Hi, Please advise where we can obtain the confiscated phones? The traffic officer told us that we have to pay a fine of R500 and an additional R 1000 to get the phone back.If this is true, please confirm. thank you

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