A controversial new by-law has quietly been implemented by the City of Cape Town after being in reported limbo for the last twelve years.
According to BusinessTech, the law, approved by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, makes it legal for authorities to impound vehicles of anyone accused of reckless driving on the spot.
Extending to drivers found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol, to those partaking in illegal street races, the law is said to better regulate traffic flow and accordingly, improve safety on its 12 000 km network.
In full, the new law covers the following:
Vehicles adjudged to be unroadworthy;Dangerous and negligent driving;Vehicles left abandoned;Failure to properly display either or both numberplates;Operated by an individual without any form of legally authorised licence;Driver found to be under the influence of alcohol;Not licenced or with an expired disc more than 90 days;Taking part in any form of illegal racing that poses a danger to other road users
“This legislation will now take harsh action against those who have continued to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, including those operating in the taxi industry, those partaking in illegal street racing activities, as well as those who fail to correctly display number plates,” Smith was quoted as saying.
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“Affected communities who have long since been calling for improved enforcement can rest assured that such relief can be welcomed within the near future. Once finalised, our various enforcement services will receive further training on how to fully utilise all aspects of this new legislation.”
He added that, “this new by-law now adds improved enforcement mechanisms, including that of instant vehicle impoundment”.
In addition, each impounded vehicle will be issued with a receipt to the driver, identifying its conditions, contents and the steps needed for it to be released.
Until now, the impound law only applied to abandoned vehicles, those with expired licences whose owners aren’t able to be tracked, unroadworthy vehicles, fleet vehicles operated by drivers unable to show a valid permit and vehicle parked in violation of stipulated road signs and markings.