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Illegal street racing: 9 drivers arrested in Cape Town

2017-05-04 23:24

Image: iStock

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - Illegal street racing is all too often a dangerous practice in South African roads and the City of Cape Town has implemented many initiatives in an attempt to remove this illegal 'sport' from local roads.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Alderman JP Smith, says the Cape Town Traffic Services arrested nine motorists during an illegal street racing operation in the Plattekloof/Panorama and Milnerton area on Wednesday evening (May 3) – eight for reckless and negligent driving and another for obstructing an officer in the execution of their duty. 

READ: Street 2 Strip racing: 'End of an era...for the outlaw in SA'

Smith said: "Officers also issued a number of fines for violations of the National Road Traffic Act and suspended five vehicles for being unroadworthy. The highest speed clocked on the night was a car going at 138 k/h along Plattekloof Road in the vicinity of Panorama Hospital.

"It was an extremely busy night for Traffic Services, with multiple races taking place at various locations in the area. Officers split up to prevent the gathering of racers and spectators at the Engen Garage on Plattekloof Road and the Ghost Squad attended to the racing on the lower side of Plattekloof Road towards Milnerton, Koeberg Road as well as the N7 between Plattekloof and the N1.  

"This is a prime example of how we have to deploy resources to babysit people who couldn’t be bothered to obey the law and put the lives of other road users at risk." 

Smith adds: "There are legal gatherings at Killarney where people with a penchant for speed can have their fun in a safe and controlled environment, instead of literally dicing with death on public roads."

Robot racing

In 2015, Wheels24 reported that the City of Cape Town, working with Killarney Raceway, launched an initiative called Robot Racing. According to the City, the events were a bid to curb illegal street racing.

Since then, the track has hosted numerous editions of the event - which is always packed with spectators and racers who want to keep things legal and take part in a safe, and organised fashion.

Yet, illegal street racing still prevails.


Has the legal racing at Killarney been effective?

Smith says: "I often feel that drag-racing enforcement actually makes the matter worse. We can't just do nothing because the public complain to us intensively. I have people who call me at 3am and ask me 'Can you hear this? Good, because I can'.

"There are people who don't allow me to forget they are suffering it. People in Ottery, people in Lotus River, in Parkwoord who listen to that on old Strandfortuin Road."

"The public don't let us walk away from this", says Smith. "But I think the enforcement actually enables it. I think it becomes part of the cat and mouse game that some of the drag racers so desperately desire. Without that, where is the need for speed fantasy?"

A Wheels24 reader, JDMFan_ZA, posted this street racing video online and shared it with us.

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Read more on:    janine van der post  |  jp smith  |  cape town

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