Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s traffic service impounded 80 vehicles during a public transport blitz in Bellville, Belhar and Brackenfell last week, that coincided with the third week of a similar operation in the southern peninsula that has seen 139 vehicle impoundments, 68 arrests and more than 9000 fines issued.
One of the suspects arrested caused mayhem on 5 July when just after 8am officers pulled over a taxi in 5th Avenue, Grassy Park. The driver admitted to not having a driving licence. Once all of the passengers had got out, the driver sped off and led officers on a chase through Grassy Park and back towards Lavender Hill where he collided with three vehicles at the intersection of Prince George Drive.
The taxi eventually burst a tyre and the driver fled on foot; officers continued searching until they found him hiding at a nearby property in Lavender Hill. He was arrested for reckless and negligent driving, resisting arrest, and fleeing the scene of an accident.
"This incident is yet another example that running from the law causes more problems," said mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith. "What would have been an arrest for operating without a permit escalated into a much more serious charge sheet, all because he failed to cooperate."
The unlicensed taxi driver also had his vehicle impounded. As of Monday there were 354 public transport vehicles in the City’s Maitland pound: 227 minibuses, 5 midibuses, 4 buses, and 118 sedans.
The City’s Ghost Squad meanwhile held numerous operations focusing on drunk driving and illegal drag-racing in Plumstead, Bellville South and Milnerton. They arrested 11 motorists for reckless and negligent driving, one for excessive speed, and 16 for driving while intoxicated. Officers also issued 3 034 fines.
"There was a big drag-racing event at Killarney on Saturday," said Smith. "We were reasonably satisfied with the behaviour of all concerned during and after the event.
"While the City encourages motorsport enthusiasts to enjoy their pastime in a safe and controlled environment, City traffic officers are still obligated to act against anyone found to be in contravention of the National Road Traffic Act.
"Officers at the Killarney event stopped and took action against the drivers of 20 illegally modified vehicles, of which 16 failed to display registration plates.
"We also want to remind motorists that vehicles modified for racing are not allowed on public roads and should be transported via trailer or flatbed truck to race meetings."
Elsewhere, Cape Town Traffic Services arrested 10 motorists for driving while intoxicated and 14 for outstanding warrants. They served 67 warrants and released 25 others on a warning.
On Saturday members of the Law Enforcement Stabilisation Unit were driving along Vanguard Drive when they saw a car go through a red light into oncoming traffic, with two men in pursuit.
When they approached the car the driver said the men had tried to hijack her. The officers tried to catch the two suspects but lost them as they disappeared into a nearby informal settlement. They went back to the driver and escorted her to her destination.