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Cape Town - Two traffic officers and a member of the public were injured on the N1 on Sunday night as the police chased an illegal drag racer at more than 200km/h.
The 22-year-old man they were pursuing had taken part in an illegal drag-racing event. During the high-speed chase that followed, the driver rammed the traffic officers’ vehicles - and is now facing a charge of attempted murder.
The chase started after police disrupted the racing in Robert Sobukwe Road near the University of the Western Cape.
Four of the drag-racers surrendered and were arrested, but the 22-year-old man ignored orders to stop.
“One driver sped off, leading officers on a high-speed chase along the N1.”
Metro police spokesman Richard Coleman said: “During the pursuit, the offender rammed one of the Ghost Squad vehicles into another vehicle on Vanguard Drive, which resulted in the closure of the road as both officers and the driver of the Jeep SUV sustained minor injuries.”
The drag-racer was caught in Thornton and would face charges of attempted murder, fleeing the scene of an accident, and reckless and negligent driving, Coleman said. He will appear in the Bellville magistrate’s court on Tuesday.
More than 100 people were arrested by metro police over the weekend for violating a range of traffic rules, including a motorcyclist who was found to be four times over the alcohol legal limit.
“In total, the officers made 106 arrests,” Coleman said. “City traffic officers also issued 967 fines for various offences over the weekend and arrested 13 motorists for drunk driving in the Richwood/Bothasig area.
“Among the suspects was a motorcyclist who was found to be four times over the legal limit and who nearly fell off his bike,” said Coleman.
“The rider initially tried to make a getaway when officers signalled for him to stop, but only managed to get about 300 metres, nearly crashing into the centre island in the process,” he said.
Thirty-two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Lansdowne, Muizenberg and Milnerton.
One was charged with fraud, for tampering with a licence disc, and another for reckless and negligent driving.
Thirty-one were caught for drunk driving in Philippi East, Manenberg, Bellville, Parow and Gugulethu.
Police also issued 173 fines at a vehicle checkpoint in Kraaifontein.
Another street racer also had a narrow escape during a high-speed chase with members of Ghost Squad in April, after he lost control of his car while approaching a bend in the road, spun out and hit a lamp-post.
The vehicle travelled 50 metres before colliding with a stormwater bridge wall and flipping on to its side.