An average of 447 drivers had their vehicles impounded each month in Cape Town during 2018, and this number increased to an average of 527 impoundments in 2019. Thus far, there have been 593 impoundments in January 2020.
The City of Cape Town has announced that it intends to introduce much harsher punishments for motorists who are habitual offenders in breaking the laws of the road. According to the City’s Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, these impounded vehicles are often taken and released on the same day.
“We are constantly maligned for the perceived lack of enforcement around the public transport industry, but the statistics say otherwise. Impounding a vehicle is a time-consuming exercise, and very often, the vehicles are reclaimed on the same day,” he said. “So the next best thing is to tighten legislation that will allow for the permanent impoundment of vehicles belonging to habitual offenders.”
Smith added that the City has been lobbying for much tougher sanctions – not just for the public sector, but also road users who insist on ‘flouting the law’.
“While some of it is within our remit, there are other aspects of the law that reside with other levels of government. But the reality is that no matter how much enforcement we continue doing, nothing will change unless there are real consequences for offenders.”
While the conroversial Aarto Act will not be introduced to the Western Cape, it will carry out a very similar punishment to what the City plans on a national instead of provincial scale.
The Act plans to introduce a zero-tolerance policy to traffic violations through the use of a 12-point demerit system for motorists. The system will ensure a motorist who repeatedly violates road traffic rules will have their driver’s license suspended temporarily or taken away.