Traffic officers doing regular patrols on roads throughout the metropole have recorded more than 4 500 vehicles not displaying number plates for the period July – September 2020, reports the City of Cape Town.

An increase has been recorded in the number of motorists driving without number plates. This is done to avoid being caught on camera, which is a traffic violation.

“As traffic volumes increase, the number of traffic transgressions are also on the increase. Driving without number plates is not only a violation of the National Road Traffic Act, but also says a lot about those behind the wheel,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

“Often this is a ploy to avoid detection for speeding, or when motorists are trying to dodge being caught for outstanding warrants of arrests. The City simply cannot and will not allow this.”

According to the City’s Traffic Service, a vehicle with only one number plate or no number plates is deemed not roadworthy. Traffic officers will issue a fine and issue a suspension notice so that the vehicle can undergo a roadworthy test within 14 working days at the nearest roadworthy testing centre.

The city is also urging motorists to be more cautious and not use their phone when driving, as an alarming statistic reveals that close to 800 cell phones were impounded by traffic officers for the period July – September 2020.

The trend has continued into October, with 101 phones impounded in the first week, followed by 137 impoundments the week after.

“Motorists who are unlawfully using their cell phones while driving not only obstruct traffic flow but put the lives of other motorists and pedestrians at risk. Traffic officers often report on how motorists operate their cellphone at intersections, stop signs and traffic lights, causing traffic to back up, because they’re not paying attention,” added Alderman Smith.

“With the technology available nowadays, it is incomprehensible that so many people are still handling these devices while driving. Apart from the danger to other road users, they are also making themselves vulnerable to attack, because they are not aware of their surroundings.”

In addition to the above transgressions, the number of persons driving without a valid driver’s license has also been marked as a cause for concern. For the period of July – September 2020, a staggering 32 341 incidents were recorded. In addition, more than 31 800 drivers could not produce their driver’s license when stopped by traffic officers.

The following fines apply to the above transgressions:

– Displaying only one number plate – R500

– Displaying no number plates on a vehicle – R1000

– Driving while operating a cell phone – R1000

An additional fine of R500 will be issued to motorists using their cellphones while driving and they will have the device impounded. This is in accordance with the City’s Traffic By-Law.

Motorists who were fined for using a cell phone while driving will have to pay the impoundment release fee and collect impounded cellphones at the traffic department closest to the area in which it was confiscated. The cellphone will be available for collection 24 hours after it was impounded.

For information on the City’s Traffic By-Law  please visit:

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