Motorists in Cape Town have been driving without number plates in order to avoid getting caught by traffic cameras, according to mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency
Motorists in Cape Town have been driving without number plates in order to avoid getting caught by traffic cameras, according to mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency

Stop driving without your number plates or face a R1000 fine, Cape motorists warned

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Oct 21, 2020

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Cape Town - Motorists in Cape Town have been driving without number plates in order to avoid getting caught by traffic cameras, according to mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Smith said traffic officers conducting patrols on roads within the Cape metropole had recorded over 4 500 vehicles without number plates for the period of July to September.

Smith said as traffic volumes increase on the City’s roads, so are the number of traffic transgressions.

“Driving without number plates is not only a violation of the National Road Traffic Act, but also says a lot about those behind the wheel.

“Often this is a ploy to avoid detection for speeding, or when motorists are trying to dodge being caught for outstanding warrants of arrests. The City simply cannot and will not allow this,” Smith said.

He said that according to the City of Cape Town’s traffic service, a vehicle is not deemed roadworthy if it has one or no number plates.

If motorists are caught on the road with these violations, traffic officers would issue a fine, he said, and a suspension notice of the vehicle, so that it can undergo a roadworthy test within 14 working days.

Smith said there was also an alarming increase in the number of motorists using cell phones while driving. Close on 800 cellphones were confiscated by traffic officers between July and September, he said.

In the first week of October, 101 cell phones were impounded, with 137 being confiscated the following week.

“Motorists who are unlawfully using their cell phones while driving not only obstruct traffic flow but put the lives of other motorists and pedestrians at risk.

“Traffic officers often report on how motorists operate their cell phone at intersections, stop signs and traffic lights, causing traffic to back up, because they’re not paying attention.

“With the technology available nowadays, it is incomprehensible that so many people are still handling these devices while driving.

“Apart from the danger to other road users, they are also making themselves vulnerable to attack, because they are not aware of their surroundings,” Smith said.

Motorist should note the following amount in fines will be issued: R500 for only having one number plate, R1 000 for no number plates, and according to the National Road Traffic Act, R1 000 for using a cell phone while driving. A R500 additional fine will be issued to motorists using their cell phones and the device will be confiscated.

Smith said the fines are in accordance with the City of Cape Town’s traffic by-law.

He said motorists who had their cell phones confiscated would have to pay a impounding release fee and collect the device at the traffic department closest to the area where it was confiscated. Cell phones are available for collection 24 hours after being impounded.

Traffic officers also recorded 32 341 incidents of people driving without a valid driver’s licence between July and September, and over 31 800 drivers could not produce their driver’s licence when pulled over by traffic police.

African News Agency (ANA)

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