File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Traffic officers arrested 46 suspects at roadblocks throughout the city at the weekend, of which 40 were busted for driving under the influence of alcohol, four for outstanding warrants, and two for possession of a stolen vehicle. 

Eight of those arrested for drunk driving were taxi drivers. 

"In recent months, we’ve stopped numerous drivers with extraordinarily high levels of alcohol in their system," said mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith. "Just when we think we’ve seen it all, a taxi driver was stopped in Philippi on Saturday and provided a breath sample that was 18 times the legal limit - a new record.

"Several other drivers were well over the legal limit," he added. "The results are disappointing, considering all of the awareness and education around drinking and driving that is done. What’s more concerning is the fact that many of these arrests were made during daylight hours, including early morning."

Roadworthy tests 

The Ghost Squad also arrested 13 suspects during a street-racing operation in the Athlone area on Saturday - five for driving under the influence of alcohol, five for reckless and negligent driving, one for resisting arrest, one for failing to comply with a lawful instruction and one for bribery. Officers also issued 60 fines for various other offences.

As part of Operation Exodus, 538 buses, midi-buses and minibus taxis have been through roadworthy tests, with a pass rate of 82 percent. Traffic services has also recorded nearly 15 000 transgressions at vehicle checkpoints linked to Operation Exodus.

"The next few days will be crucial." Smith said, "as people head home for the holidays. I appeal to public transport operators to make use of the opportunity afforded to them through Operation Exodus and to have their vehicles checked for roadworthiness for peace of mind for themselves and their passengers."