City of Cape Town on alert for overloaded trucks
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said: “Based on the statistics that we have available from a snapshot earlier this year, it is something that is occurring far too often.”
In a recent incident earlier this year, the City recorded a truck was overloaded by at least 25 tons, and the driver was slapped with a fine.
According to the City, overloaded trucks tend to create heavy traffic congestion.
The maximum fine for overloaded trucks is R5000.
The City’s Road Haulage Unit monitors overloaded trucks and recorded 5958 offences from July to September this year, up from 5055 in the period in 2018.
The City started introducing its specialised units in the last decade to meet the growing list of demands on its traffic service.
“The Road Haulage Unit is one of several specialised enforcement units within the Traffic Service, and while they have a particular focus, they will also act on all transgressions, irrespective of the type of vehicle involved,” Smith said.
In 2017, two people died when a container truck overturned near the M5 exit and fell on top of their car.
The driver of the truck later died of his injuries.
The incident prompted Smith to write to national government proposing that heavy motor vehicles should not operate at peak time.
“The City has raised this proposal, but to date there hasn’t been any feedback.
“We understand that the delivery of goods forms an integral part of the economy, so if a peak-hour ban is considered not feasible, then we need to start looking at other alternatives.
“The reality is that trucks that experience mechanical problems or are involved in accidents cause massive backlogs on our road network,” Smith said.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “We have to do everything we can to enable the economy and the root cause of this is because of a failure of the railway system and we are starting an engagement with Transnet about the state of our railway system so that we can move from road to railway.”
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said: “We need to balance interest groups. On the one hand, this is a City that hundreds and thousands of people are commuting from daily from their homes to their work.
“But we are also running one of the most successful export economies.
“The long-term solution is that you need to get rail working for goods and especially high volume export goods.
“Unless we get this, we are always going to get this potential conflict,” he said.@MarvinCharles17