“There really is no excuse not to pay outstanding fines unless the intent is not to pay at all. If that is the case, then I have no sympathy for individuals who do find themselves in the queue at a roadblock or checkpoint.” – City of Cape Town’s JP Smith
The City of Cape Town is committed to improving its traffic policing efforts in preparation for the Festive Season rush.
December is around the corner, which means that the City of Cape Town will soon play host to thousands of holidaymakers eager to enjoy the region’s beautiful beaches and fine weather. As the year draws to a close, most inland locals begin to finalise their annual Festive Season migration westwards.
While travellers prepare their holiday itineraries, the City of Cape Town is gearing up to deal with the practical problems associated with the yearly influx of visitors. The biggest headache facing the metro is the prevalence of traffic violations, which includes drunk drivers, unroadworthy motor vehicles and a host of other, potentially deadly, transport problems.
As reported by Business Tech, the city’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, has outlined new and improved strategies aimed at curbing carnage on Cape Town’s roads.
24-hour traffic patrol unit
The Cape Argus recently reported on a proposal to introduce a 24-hour traffic policing unit, which Smith confirmed could soon become a reality. The deployment of an all-hour traffic policing unit, a role which is currently designated to provincial services operating outside of the metro, will, undoubtedly, improve the City’s ability to combat drunk driving and other criminal activities.
Smith explained that increased visible policing would deter motorists from flouting road regulations, saying:
“With the mooted introduction of a 24-hour traffic presence on our roads, our staff will be able to conduct more vehicle checkpoints – an invaluable tool in crime fighting as it often lifts the lid on criminals after the fact, or puts a spanner in the works for planned criminal activity.”
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Festive Season roadblocks
The city’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security confirmed that there would be in an increase in roadblocks around Cape Town during the Festive Season. Smith explained that roadblocks and checkpoints would be implemented to deal with more than just drunk driving, saying:
“I think it’s worth reminding motorists that drunk driving isn’t the only offence for which you can be arrested on the roads. If you have outstanding warrants, please settle them or risk a nasty surprise at a vehicle checkpoint or roadblock, which will increase in frequency soon to deal with the demands of the festive season.
Earlier this year, we announced that we had taken the pain out of finalising fines that had progressed to warrant stage by implementing an online payment option. So, there really is no excuse not to pay outstanding fines unless the intent is not to pay at all. If that is the case, then I have no sympathy for individuals who do find themselves in the queue at a roadblock or checkpoint.”
No mercy for drunk drivers
Drunk driving is largely responsible for the carnage on South Africa’s roads. The Festive Season is, statistically, an especially deadly time for motorists. The City of Cape Town recently deployed a new Mobile Alcohol Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing (EBAT) vehicle, which allows traffic officers to take samples from motorists at any time, anywhere.
As reported by Business Tech, Evidentiary breath alcohol testing (EBAT) uses a machine which can read how much alcohol is in a person’s breath. Two breath samples are taken – if the lower of the two test results is not less than 0.24mg of alcohol per 1,000ml of breath, the driver will be charged.
These samples can be used as evidence to prosecute individuals accused of drunk driving.
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