More than R10m in fines issued in the Western Cape since start of festive season

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Road checks will be ongoing in the western Cape.
Road checks will be ongoing in the western Cape.
  • Fines of more than R10 million have been issued to road users in the Western Cape since the start of the festive season.
  • Offences ranged from reckless and drunk driving to unroadworthy vehicles and speeding.
  • Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell said 36 people have died on the province's roads since last week.

As holidaymakers continue to stream into the Western Cape, traffic officials are issuing fines thick and fast.

To be specific, fines to the tune of more than R10 million were issued to road users since the start of the festive season just over a week ago for offences that included reckless driving, drunk driving, unroadworthy vehicles, and speeding.

Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell said 36 people died on the province's roads between 13 and 19 December.

"A total of 29 crashes occurred in the reporting period, and 36 fatalities were recorded," he added.

Traffic officials arrested 20 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"I urge you not to drink and drive. Even small amounts of alcohol affect your judgement. If you are caught driving under the influence, you could end up with a criminal record. Let's all aim for #BoozeFreeRoads this festive season, and at every other time of the year."

READ | High voltage line fault leaves parts of Cape Town without power

Mitchell warned that traffic officials were out in full force on the province's roads and were working with officials from other agencies to clamp down on unsafe vehicles and unsafe driving.

He said the department set up 95 integrated roadblocks, vehicle check points and speed control operations across the province from 13 to 19 December, and that 32 240 vehicles were stopped and checked.

"A total of 324 speeding offences were recorded and 9 372 fines were issued for various traffic violations, ranging from driver to vehicle fitness, with a total amount of R10 474 300. Fifty-two vehicles were impounded and 117 were discontinued for unroadworthiness," he added.

The arrests included the following: 

  • 20 x driving under the influence of alcohol
  • 2 x speeding
  • 6 x reckless and negligent driving
  • 9 x possession of fraudulent documentation
  • 1 x pedestrian arrest (source of danger)
  • 3 x bribery
  • 1 x failure to furnish information
  • 1 x possession of illegal substance (dagga)
  • 1 x possession of illegal substance (tik) and;
  • 1 x no engine/ chassis number.

The highest speeds that were recorded on the province's roads were:

  • 161 km/h in a 120 km/h zone;
  • 145 km/h in a 100 km/h zone;
  • 104 km/h in a 80 km/h zone;
  • 109 km/h in a 70 km/h zone; and
  • 104 km/h in a 60 km/h zone

In terms of the Disaster Management Act, two charges were laid and fines to the value of R13 000 were issued.

Long-distance taxi driver Simon Chogima, 53, said he collected passengers in Kenilworth last week after he was booked for a long-distance road trip to Robertson.

"This was my first booked trip for the festive period as the [Covid-19] pandemic really made me suffer financially. I was excited to finally be back on the long road with my regular customers," he said.

But when officers instructed him to pull over, it dawned on him that he didn't have what they were looking for.

He said: 

I realised that I didn't have my PDP document with me at the time. My heart sank immediately because I knew what was coming next. I explained to the officer that I do have an updated PDP but I seem to have just forgotten it at home.

The officer was very helpful and understanding, and allowed him to call a friend to ask the friend to bring his permit to him.

"Yoh! I waited close to two hours for my friend to bring the paper. I thought the officer would come back to me and tell me he's going to fine me and impound my van. Thank God that didn't happen," he said.

READ | Teen arrested after child, 3, killed in Cape Town hit and run

Chogima said it was an "eye opening" experience for him.

"I hate to think what would've happened if I was already halfway through to Robertson. I think the excitement of doing long road trips got to my head and my carelessness got in the way," he added.

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