Illegal street racers will face a tougher time ahead as the Western Cape government considers changes to the Western Cape Road Traffic Act. Picture: Cara Viereckl
Illegal street racers will face a tougher time ahead as the Western Cape government considers changes to the Western Cape Road Traffic Act. Picture: Cara Viereckl

Western Cape in push to crack down on illegal street racing even further

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Mar 30, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Illegal street racers will face a tougher time ahead as the Western Cape government considers changes to the province’s Road Traffic Act.

Amendments to the act are being considered with the aim being to empower traffic officers and other authorised law enforcement officials to impound motor vehicles for a wider range of transgressions, such as drag racing on public roads.

This was revealed in a written reply by Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela to DA MPL Daylin Mitchell.

Addressing questions over what amendments are being considered, and why, Madikizela said: “Current legislation only allows for vehicle impoundments in very limited circumstances.

“These circumstances include, amongst other things, public transport vehicles that are off route, public transport vehicles operating without operating licences, motor vehicles used in the commission of a criminal offence and abandoned vehicles.

“The aim of the legislation is to improve road safety throughout the province by ensuring that drivers are held accountable for their actions on the road. Drivers will risk having their vehicles impounded for more serious transgressions on our roads,” Madikizela said.

“Further legislation is in the process of being considered. Part of this process includes a range of consultations with stakeholders in the law enforcement environment to determine legislative gaps. The aim is to address those gaps through provincial legislation.”

Mitchell said: “The aim of this is to close gaps and further capacitate law enforcement in their work to make the roads in the Western Cape safer.

“Illegal street racing, for example, is a persistent issue which puts not only the driver but every commuter in danger. Nearly half of all arrests by the Cape Town Traffic Services were made in connection to illegal street racing operations.

“I therefore look forward to the committee receiving the proposed amendments to the Western Cape Road Traffic Act,“ Mitchell said.

Just the past week, the Western Cape Provincial Traffic Services implemented a total of 193 integrated roadblocks, vehicle checkpoint and speed control operations across the province in the week of March 22 to 28, and 28 540 vehicles were stopped and checked.

A total of 404 speeding offences were recorded and 4 625 fines were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness in the total amount of R3 975 600.

Fourteen vehicles were impounded and 78 were discontinued for unroadworthiness.

The highest speeds recorded were as follows:

  • 161km/h in a 120km/h zone
  • 145km/h in a 100km/h zone
  • 114km/h in an 80km/h zone
  • 89km/h in a 70km/h zone
  • 104km/h in a 60km/h zone

The Department of Transport and Public Works said that especially ahead of Easter, traffic and road safety officers will be hard at work making roads safer, but road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“Round-the-clock traffic law enforcement efforts and safety campaign activities will continue across the province. We appeal to all road users to be considerate and comply with the law,” said Vigie Chetty, director of traffic law enforcement.

“How we behave on the roads affects our own safety, and the safety of every other person on the road,” she added.

Cape Argus

Share this article: