Goodwood gets more traffic cops

There will be more traffic cops on the beat to tackle errant drivers, a meeting of the Parow Community Police Forum heard last week.

Principal inspector Desre Benadie said Goodwood traffic department had employed four officers in August and an extra six would join at the beginning of February.

Officers had issued 2 774 fines during October in Parow for speeding, parking, drunk-driving and taxi-related offences. They had concentrated on Tierberg Street and Frans Conradie Drive, where speeding was rife.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said his directorate had lobbied for more traffic officers, as staff numbers were “not ideal”. However more boots on the ground didn’t always mean less lawlessness on the roads.

“We have increased the staff complement significantly and almost doubled the number of traffic fines we issue, but it does not change the behaviour on the road, as only an increase in fine payment rates will influence that,” he said.

According to Mr Smith, Cape Town has the highest fine payment rate (between 36 and 42 percent) in the country, compared to other metros where it is between 8 and 19 percent.

He said traffic courts should be jacked up to deal with backlogs. Those courts were managed by national government and the City had offered to pay for staff, although it wasn’t obligated to do so.

* The City of Cape Town’s vehicle pound in Ndabeni is over capacity by 120 vehicles.

Ms Benadie said the pound had more than 700 taxis that had not been collected by their owners.

“They don’t drive themselves to the pound. They get booked in by a traffic officer,” she said.

In September last year, the City destroyed 44 unroadworthy sedan taxis from the Maitland pound.

They were impounded between 2010 and 2012 and were not claimed by the owners.

The City said the 90 percent collection rate of impounded taxis in previous years had dropped as release fees had started taking their toll. Between January and August last year, the City impounded 788 taxis for licence and roadworthiness transgressions.

Last week, Mr Smith said the City had asked the provincial government to introduce a “three strike” rule in the amended Provincial Traffic Act that would stop an owner reclaiming a vehicle after a third impound.

A first offence for operating without a taxi permit carries a R7000 fine, a second offence is

R10 000 and a third offence has a R15 000 impoundment fee.

At the CPF meeting, the Metro police’s Superintendent Alan Davies said the northern suburbs were a big area to cover and much of their manpower had been focused on the #FeesMustFall protests and patrols on the R300 to prevent motorists being robbed.