Cape Town motorists should be more careful of a new traffic by-law which will allow authorities in the city to immediately impound vehicles caught breaking certain rules.
The traffic by-law was first put into effect in 2010, as reported by BusinessTech, to regulate public transport vehicles and traffic within the city’s jurisdiction, as provided for in the Constitution.
Very specific and limited circumstances currently allow for the impounding of vehicles, such as abandonment, criminal activity, or more commonly, operating without a licence.
If the new by-law is approved, these circumstances will also include the impounding of vehicles used when driving under the influence, reckless or negligent driving, or cars involved in illegal street racing.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, hopes that the new by-law will return authority to the city’s traffic services, metro police and law enforcement officials so that improved safety, law and order can be reestablished on the 12 000 km of roads in the municipality.
“Amongst other things, this legislation will now take harsh action against those who have continued to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, including those operating in the taxi industry, those partaking in illegal street racing activities, as well as those who fail to correctly display number plates,” he said.
“This new by-law now adds improved enforcement mechanisms, including that of instant vehicle impoundment. Once finalised, our various enforcement services will receive further training on how to fully utilise all aspects of this new legislation.
“Affected communities who have long since been calling for improved enforcement can rest assured that such relief can be welcomed within the near future,” he said.
The by-law allows for the immediate impoundment of vehicles where they are:
- Driven recklessly or with negligence;
- Deemed to be unroadworthy;
- Failing to properly display either or both number plates;
- Operated on a public road by someone without a valid licence, professional driving permit or any other necessary operating licence;
- Not licenced, or the licence disc has expired for more than 90 days;
- Has been left abandoned;
- Operated by someone under the influence of alcohol;
- Taking part in any unapproved race or speed trial or any racing activity that constitutes a source of danger to traffic. This includes drag racing, driving, popping or wheel spinning.
Important to note: the city is extending the enforcement of street racing by-laws to spectators of such events.
If a car gets impounded, the authorised official will issue a receipt that indicates the state of the vehicle, its contents, information on where it will be kept and what steps must be taken to have it released again.