Cape Town wants to permanently impound your car if you repeatedly break traffic rules

The City of Cape Town wants to introduce harsher punishments for habitual offenders as it battles with continued lawlessness on its roads.

A review of the city’s public transport impoundment statistics shows an average of 447 impounds per month in 2018. This increased to an average of 527 in 2019 and reached a total of 593 impounds in January 2020.

However, the city’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, said that these impounded cars 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.”

“The city has been lobbying for tougher sanctions, not just for the public transport sector, but all 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.”

South Africa’s new Aarto Act – which will be formally introduced by June 2020 – will also introduce harsher punishments for motorists at a national level.

The Act introduces a zero-tolerant policy to traffic violations through a new 12-point demerit system for motorists.

Under this system, a motorist who repeatedly commits road traffic violations can have his or her driver’s licence suspended or cancelled.


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Cape Town wants to permanently impound your car if you repeatedly break traffic rules