The City of Cape Town’s Ghost Squad, a specialised unit within the Traffic Service, has noted a sharp increase in the issuing of fines and successful arrests as roads get busier. The number of arrests for driving while under the influence of alcohol continues to climb, with 52 motorists arrested during the month of October.

The Ghost Squad was initially launched in July 2009, and has since proven to be an effective part of the City’s Traffic Service. The unit has 25 high-performance vehicles patrolling the City’s streets and highways. These vehicles include motorcycles and cars.

In order to keep up with the growing numbers of vehicles on the road and subsequent offences, the City’s Traffic Service purchased 15 vehicles for the Ghost Squad during the 2019/2020 financial year.

These new vehicles have been put to good use in the last few months. During the last week of October, officers arrested 23 drag racers, of which 18 were found to be under the influence of alcohol. Another cause of concern is the number of motorists driving without number plates.

“Motorists driving without number plates violate the National Road Traffic Act and often do this to avoid detection for speeding and outstanding warrants of arrest. The Ghost Squad is committed to enforcing the rules designed to ensure the safety of all motorists and will arrest those who contravene these rules,” said the City’s MayCo Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

The Ghost Squad’s operational reports since August highlight the type of arrests made. These include:

August
– Nine arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
– 18 arrested for reckless and negligent driving
– Five arrested for false documentation
– Nine arrested for other offences

September
– 22 arrested for DUIs
– 26 arrested for reckless and negligent driving
– Six arrested for false documentation
– Four arrested for other offences

October
– 52 arrested for DUIs
– 117 arrested for reckless and negligent driving
– One warrant of arrest issued
– Five arrested for false documentation
– Five arrested for other offences

“The City’s Traffic Service have operational plans in place to deal with the increase in traffic flow over the festive season. Visible enforcement vehicles and unmarked vehicles will be out on patrol to ensure a safe road environment and to protect the constitutional rights of law abiding motorists,” added Smith.

Motorists can call the City’s Public Emergency Communications Centre to report any suspicious vehicle or driver behaviour by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

Picture: Facebook/City of Cape Town

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