Western Cape drivers rack up more than R8m in traffic fines in one week

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Traffic officer at a roadblock
Traffic officer at a roadblock
Safely Home by Western Cape Government
  • Almost 6 000 fines were issued by Western Cape Provincial Traffic Services last week.
  • The Western Cape has already seen increased road crashes over the festive season.
  • The province's Transport and Public Works MEC has raised concerns about drunk driving incidents.

The Western Cape Provincial Traffic Services recorded 279 speeding offences and issued 5 873 fines between 20 and 27 December, amounting to just more than R8 million.

This past week, authorities set up 190 integrated roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints, and speed control operations across the province - 34 685 vehicles were stopped and checked.

Of these, 39 vehicles were impounded and 134 discontinued for un-roadworthiness.

Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said he was concerned about the high number of drunk drivers arrested last week. 

"If you are caught driving under the influence, you could land up with a criminal record. [...] An error of judgement may mean killing or injuring someone on the road, in another vehicle, or in your own vehicle. The mistake you make in a moment could lead to a lifetime of regret," he said.

The Western Cape had already seen increased road crashes over the festive season.

Last week, a total of 35 crashes occurred in the province, with 55 fatalities recorded.

READ | Nearly 5 500 bottles of booze confiscated in Cape Town during festive season clampdown

Western Cape transport and public works department spokesperson Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka confirmed that the number of fatalities on the province's roads increased during the festive season compared to the same period in 2020. 

By Christmas eve, she said, the province had recorded over 100 road fatalities.

She added that statistics should, however, be seen in context. 

"Those released thus far are a snapshot for a specific period – specifically the period following the closing of schools and a rush of traffic wanting to make a start with the festive season break. In addition, during the previous festive season, roads were characterised by lower traffic volumes due to beach closures and higher alert levels," she said.

A similar situation had unfolded in KwaZulu-Natal, where several fatal crashes were recorded, according to the province's spokesperson for Emergency Medical Services, Robert McKenzie.

He said: 

We would like to remind motorists to please decrease the speed that they are travelling at because we know that speed is a common cause of crashes. Also, do not drink alcohol before or while driving your motor vehicles.

According to preliminary statistics on road fatalities presented on 24 December by the national transport ministry, there had been a 142% increase in road crashes recorded nationally, News24 previously reported, with multiple fatalities recorded already in the middle of the festive season.

This year, there had been 17 crashes compared to seven over the same period in 2020, ahead of Christmas.

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