Traffic talks tough at meeting

There were 95 arrests for traffic violations between Friday September 1 and Wednesday September 20, as part of a campaign by the City of Cape Town’s traffic services, targeting especially taxis (“Clampdown on reckless drivers planned,” Tabletalk, August 23).

Speaking at the monthly Sub-council 3 meeting in Goodwood last week, principal traffic inspector Desre Benadie said 52 of those arrests were for reckless and negligent driving.

The 52 arrests were made in Bellville (20), Plattekloof (3), Goodwood (12), Table View (13) and Brackenfell (4).

Last month Ms Benadie said the campaign would focus on arresting errant drivers, instead of ticketing them, because fines had had no effect on driver behaviour.

The 95 overall arrests also included 28 for driving under the influence, two for participating in street racing and 12 for outstanding warrants.

ACDP councillor Demetri Qually thanked traffic services saying: “Well done. It’s exciting to see your commitment.”

But the campaign had its hiccups. Ms Benadie explained that offenders behaved when they saw traffic officers. She said a case in point was Thursday morning, September 21, when they had patrolled Sandown Road, Sunningdale.

After two hours, the officers had to be redeployed elsewhere.

“I had to tell my guys let’s do something else. We found no offenders for negligent and reckless driving,” she said.

Councillors deliberated about taxi drivers “becoming angels” when the traffic officers were around.

New ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi raised the issue of taxi drivers “who just park anywhere” in Joe Slovo.

Ms Benadie said that the week before there had been an operation in Freedom Way and Omarumba Road.

She said there too no offences had been committed in the hour the officers were there “because we were too visible”.

She agreed with Mr Ngeyi that the intersection of Freedom Way and Omarumba Road, outside the new Sinenjongo High School, was problematic, as two children had been been knocked down there.

Proportional representation (PR) councillor Ursula Barends said taxi drivers used WhatsApp and loudhailers to warn each other about traffic operations.

On Friday September 22, Ward 107 (Nicky Rheeder’s) Facebook page noted: “Traffic services spent two hours in Sandown Road yesterday and it seems everyone was well behaved when moving past them. This morning, however, three reckless and negligent driving arrests took place in Gie Road.

“They also had one outstanding warrant arrest and two contempt arrests. Well done, traffic services, and thank you for your continuous efforts to keep our roads safe.”