The City of Cape Town has gazetted its amended traffic by-law, which it says will help to regulate public transport vehicles and traffic within the city.

The amended Traffic By-law was circulated for public participation in October 2019 and solicited more than 1,800 comments, it said.

The amended by-law makes provision for the impoundment of vehicles in certain instances, including:

  • Where the vehicle was involved in reckless or negligent driving or illegal street racing;
  • The driver is under the influence of alcohol;
  • The driver is unlicensed;
  • The driver disobeys an instruction to stop or pull over, resulting in pursuit;
  • The vehicle is unregistered, has an expired licence disc older than 90 days, is not roadworthy or has been abandoned.

The city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said that the amended by-law now includes a section that specifically focuses on public transport vehicles – including minibus taxis and taxi drivers operating in the e-hailing sector, such as Uber and Bolt.

Previous legislation proved to be lacking and often allowed offenders to easily bypass enforcement action, resulting in a blatant disregard for road rules, with very limited consequences that failed to change the driving behaviour of public transport drivers, the city said.

“For years we have literally chased after offenders engaging in reckless and negligent driving, some of whom commit the same reckless driving offences regularly on the road, whether they are on the way to work or on a night out.

“Despite the increase in enforcement, bad driving behaviours continue to flourish. The amendments to this by-law should go a long way towards curbing reckless driving by all motorists, as well as those who use the public roads for racing, who pose a serious and often life-threatening risk to other road users,” said Smith.

“The goal of this by-law is to make sure our limited enforcement resources can take enforcement actions that matter and create consequences that make bad drivers change the way they behave.”

The city said that the next steps include training and information sessions for enforcement staff on the practical application and enforcement of the amended by-law.

Read: Cape Town’s new traffic rules let authorities impound your car on the spot – what you should know