The City of Cape Town on Monday expressed concern about the continued high levels of drunk driving, this after an alleged drunk driver drove straight into a roadblock, damaging two patrol cars and slightly injuring four traffic officers.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said in a statement: “The driver of a light delivery vehicle drove into a roadblock at 04:22 on Sunday morning at 35th Avenue and Lavis Road.”
The officers were discharged from hospital on Sunday after being checked out by doctors.
According to Smith, Metro Police responded to two collisions in the Cape Town CBD and Khayelitsha and in both instances it was found that one of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol. Both were arrested for driving under the influence, as well as reckless and negligent driving.
He said Metro Police arrested 31 more motorists at vehicle check points and roadblocks in Woodstock, Manenberg, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Kirstenhof over the weekend.
“The absolute disregard that some people continue to have for the law is simply staggering. Drunk driving can never be condoned and what makes it even more unforgiving is the fact that we’ve had a fairly wet weekend, so the roads would have been even more challenging for drivers.”
According to Smith, taxpayers’ money would have to be used to repair the patrol vehicles damaged in the Bishop Lavis incident.
Smith added that the City was monitoring nearly 1,500 drunk driving cases registered by Metro Police from the period of July 2016 to March 2017. “The results of these watching briefs are of concern, most notably the slow pace of these cases as a result of delays in obtaining the blood-alcohol reports. We’ve already had cases remanded to as far as November this year and others provisionally withdrawn pending the availability of the blood-alcohol results.
“I’m afraid that until we start expediting cases and making examples of drunk drivers, we’ll be caught in a vicious cycle. We have already taken up some of these shortcomings with Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato and Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula.”
Smith called for harsher penalties for reckless and negligent driving, as well as drunk driving, and said the forfeiting of vehicles of repeat offenders should be considered.