Johannesburg Metro cop with a motorist who commited a traffic offence in the center of Johannesburg city. 061008 Pic:Boxer Ngwenya

Cape Town - Five pedestrians were knocked down around Cape Town within an hour and a half during peak traffic on Friday morning.

City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokesman Richard Coleman confirmed the incidents and said there had been a perplexing increase in the number of pedestrians knocked down by motorists around the metro in recent weeks.

“This applies both to the CBD, as well as roads and freeways in the outlying areas. It is difficult to say what is behind this trend. Simply, it seems as though pedestrians are not ensuring that it is safe to cross before stepping into the road.”

He said existing anti-jay-walking laws were nearly impossible to enforce.

“If you charge one person with this offence, you would have to charge every single person.”

Sherna Fortune, who travels from Mitchells Plain to Epping via Vanguard Drive every morning, said that Friday morning she witnessed the aftermath of one of the accidents highlighted by Coleman.

A man had been hit by a car and flung through the air, landing underneath a law-enforcement van.

However, Coleman said the man sustained fairly light injuries, and was conscious when taken to hospital.

Other pedestrian accidents happened at Broadway Road in Strand, Rocklands in Mitchells Plain, Blackbird Street in Ottery and Roeland Street in Cape Town. Two of the victims were children, and all those knocked down sustained light injuries.

Fortune said she had regularly seen pedestrians knocked down at the Klipfontein intersection.

Commuters alighted from taxis and buses, often directly on to the road, and pedestrians crossed between Heideveld and Gatesville.

She said as a driver the air of chaos there every morning frayed her nerves.

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Cape Argus