698 nabbed in Cape roadblock blitz

Cape Town - 120601 - A roadblock was held by Provincial and City Traffic Officials on Modderdam road Southbound near the N2 (Bonteheuwel) on Friday night. In the first hour of the road block being set up 8 people were arrested for drunk driving (the lowest alcohol reading on the Drager was 0.38 almost twice the legal limit) The first people to be arrested was an off-duty police officer. The suspects were taken to the Bishop Lavis Police Station for processing. Also nabbed was a 17 year old taxi driver driving an unroadworthy taxi. The normal driver was too drunk to drive so they sent the 17 year old to drive the taxi. The taxi was impounded and the youth was taken to Bishop Lavis police station to wait for his parents before being charged. His parents were also allegedly too drunk to come to the scene. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Cape Town - 120601 - A roadblock was held by Provincial and City Traffic Officials on Modderdam road Southbound near the N2 (Bonteheuwel) on Friday night. In the first hour of the road block being set up 8 people were arrested for drunk driving (the lowest alcohol reading on the Drager was 0.38 almost twice the legal limit) The first people to be arrested was an off-duty police officer. The suspects were taken to the Bishop Lavis Police Station for processing. Also nabbed was a 17 year old taxi driver driving an unroadworthy taxi. The normal driver was too drunk to drive so they sent the 17 year old to drive the taxi. The taxi was impounded and the youth was taken to Bishop Lavis police station to wait for his parents before being charged. His parents were also allegedly too drunk to come to the scene. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Published Jan 26, 2016

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Cape Town - In a blitz operation at the weekend, the City’s new roadblock unit has recorded 698 traffic-related offences over two days of operation.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the 18-member team, costing the City about R5 million to operate, aimed to focus on enforcing the National Road Traffic Act as well as tracking suspects wanted for crimes and outstanding warrants.

The team members are from various departments, including the City’s traffic service, metro police, law enforcement and the provincial Traffic Department.

The unit will conduct roadblocks across the city every day, with a specific focus on drinking and driving, stolen vehicles and illegal street racing.

It will also seize illegal firearms and drugs.

“Roadblocks are an integral policing tool,” Smith said, “but in recent years our services have been stretched by an increasing workload thanks to service delivery protests, gang violence and land invasions.

Longer jail terms for road offenders

“The result is that we have not been able to have as many roadblocks as we would like. This unit is a step towards rectifying that situation.”

City director of law enforcement Robbie Roberts said the two operations conducted so far had yielded substantial results.

On the unit’s first night of operation in Athlone, 409 motorists were taken to task for various offences ranging from drinking and driving to failing to wear a seat belt.

After 11pm that night the unit then moved on to Bellville South, where 165 offences were recorded, including motorists who did not have driving licences and an arrest for drug possession.

SWIFT JUSTICE NEEDED

On Saturday 248 vehicles were stopped and drivers tested for alcohol in Vryburger Avenue and Plattekloof Road in Bothasig.

Roberts said 18 people had been arrested for driving under the influence and another for reckless and negligent driving.

He added that 28 motorists were arrested for various National Road Traffic Act offences.

Smith said: “We have a major problem with people driving while drunk. We talk about how dangerous this is… Now people will be aware that they will be caught.

“Ideally, we want to move away from the current situation where a drunk driving case takes years to conclude.

“Justice needs to be meted out swiftly if we are to make road users sit up and take their responsibilities seriously.”

If the initiative continued to yield results, it would become a permanent fixture, Smith said.

“We want to tackle this issue head on and increase the amount of roadblocks in a dedicated way,” he said.

“We want to assert ourselves more and help the SAPS in combating crime.”

Cape Times

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