The Traffic Services’ Road Haulage Unit has noted a concerning increase in the number of overloaded trucks on Western Cape roads. In one of the latest incidents, a truck was found to be overloaded by at least 25 000 kilograms this weekend.

An officer attached to the Road Haulage Unit noticed a container truck that appeared to be heavily overloaded and proceeded to stop the truck. The driver was instructed to reroute to the N7 weigh-bridge for testing but two of the truck’s tyres burst en route. The officer insisted the vehicle owner repair the tyres so they could proceed to have the truck weighed.

“When the truck was eventually weighed, it was found to be at least 25 tonnes over the permissible mass. The incident resulted in the issuing of 11 fines for various transgressions, totaling R42 000,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

“Our staff are reporting more of these incidents and so we’d like to remind companies to ensure that they are sticking to the prescribed regulations, not only because it is the law but also because overloaded vehicles are a danger to other road users.”

More than 30% of trucks weighed by traffic cops over the last six months were overloaded, leading to officers issuing fines amounting to an astounding R1 064 650.

“We have seen numerous incidents in Cape Town over the years where heavy vehicles have overturned or become stuck, often with tragic consequences for the truck drivers or other road users who happen to be in the vicinity at the time,” says Smith.

“The city has also been left gridlocked on more than one occasion as a result of such incidents.”

The City is appealling to fleet managers and truck owners to abide by legislative requirements and to ensure their drivers are properly trained before, and not when, tragedy strikes.

“Our Road Haulage Unit will continue its enforcement efforts to try and ensure compliance within the trucking industry. In the event of future incidents like breakdowns or accidents, our Fire and Rescue Service has acquired a special vehicle to fast-track the removal of heavy vehicles where they are blocking our major routes, but ultimately the trucking industry needs to get on track too and stay in the right lane,” adds Alderman Smith.

Picture: City of Cape Town

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