Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 000 cellphones impounded in Cape Town since the introduction of the traffic by-law

Loyiso Langeni
21 July 2015

The City of Cape Town said since the introduction of the Traffic By-Law in 2012 over 3 000 cellphones have been impounded every year.

The by-law states that no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a public road while holding a cellular or mobile telephone, or any other communication device in one or both hands or with any other part of the body.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said by the end of June 2015, a total of 9 465 cellphones had been impounded, which is an average of 3 155 per year.

Smith added that to date, 4 182 motorists have reclaimed their phones which means that another 2 600 are sitting at Ndabeni impound, as couple of other thousands phones are distributed to various Traffic Services offices across the city.

“We will moving to the impounding in due course from obviously overtime when these phones are not collected, once the legal proceedings window has closed and the fines have not been disputed and overturned by court we are able to dispose these phones” Smith said.

Meanwhile Smith said motorists are still refusing to acknowledge the dangers of using cellphones while driving.

Smith said research shows that distracted driving due to texting or operating a cellphone while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving and has become the leading cause of road death in many countries.

Smith said whilst we have consensus from the public and good understanding that drunk driving is really bad and dangerous people believe drunk drivers should be prosecuted.

He also added that there is still high level of tolerance amongst cellphone users in terms of their behaviour even though they know it to be dangerous and this is very much how the drunk driving debate went initially and took time to be mobilised the consensus against that practise.

“I think we will see the same with the cellphones and in the meantime, the City must continue to try and strive to bring our road death toll down, as we have done successful in the last few years and the focus on the instructor drivers is an important part of that” Smith said.  



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