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City of Cape Town’s amended traffic by-law comes into effect today. Here’s what it means for you

The newly amended traffic by-laws have been gazetted and are in full effect. File Picture

The newly amended traffic by-laws have been gazetted and are in full effect. File Picture

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s traffic by-law is in full effect after it was finally gazetted.

The city introduced its traffic by-law in 2011, which they city hopes will pave the way for more effective traffic enforcement and safer roads for all.

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The new by-law provides for the regulation of public transport vehicles and traffic within the City of Cape Town’s jurisdiction in line with national legislation.

According to the chairperson for the safety and security portfolio committee, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe said, in 2019, the committee spearheaded a review of the by-law. This was circulated for public participation in October of that year and garnered more than 1 800 comments.

“I would like to thank the members of the Portfolio Committee and officials who contributed towards this mammoth task. It has taken us roughly three years to get to this point, and we hope that law-abiding road users and citizens, in general, will benefit from this undertaking. The next steps include training and information sessions for enforcement staff on the practical application and enforcement of the amended by-law.

“We ask that the public to familiarise themselves with the document, to ensure that they remain on the side of right,” Nqavashe said.

The amended by-law makes provision for the impounding of vehicles instances which include:

  • Vehicles involved in reckless or negligent driving or illegal street racing.
  • Where the driver is under the influence of alcohol, has no license, disobeys an instruction to stop, pull over, or actions that result in pursuit.
  • If a vehicle is unregistered, has an expired license disc older than 90 days, is not roadworthy or has been abandoned.

The City of Cape Town said the amended by-law includes a section that focuses directly on public transport vehicles and not only the taxi industry, but those in the e-hailing sector as well.

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According to mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, the previous legislation lacked and often allowed offenders to bypass enforcement action, which resulted in a disregard for road rules, with very limited consequences that failed to change the driving behaviour of public transport drivers.

“The City of Cape Town is committed to road safety. It is evident in our continued investment in resources and technology. It is also evident in this amended by-law. For years we have literally chased after offenders engaging in reckless and negligent driving, some of whom commit the same reckless driving offences regularly on the road, whether they are on the way to work or on a night out.

“Despite the increase in enforcement, bad driving behaviours continue to flourish.

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“The amendments to this by-law should go a long way towards curbing reckless driving by all motorists, as well as those who use the public roads for racing, who pose a serious and often life-threatening risk to other road users,” Smith said.

He said the City is going the extra mile and doing more to ensure roads are safer and that law-abiding motorists, passengers, and pedestrians who are often confronted by motorists with no respect for others are protected.

“The goal of this by-law is to make sure our limited enforcement resources can take enforcement actions that matter and create consequences that make bad drivers change the way they behave,” Smith added.

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