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New traffic law: Readers respond to vehicle impoundments

2016-09-28 11:16

YES, PLEASE! The Western Cape government has proposed a draft on vehicle impoundments of serious traffic offenders. The majority of Wheels24 readers are in favour of the new law. Image: iStock


A drunk driver is captured on CCTV stumbling to his vehicle, driving recklessly and crashing repeatedly... and that's before he leaves a parking garage.

Cape Town - The Western Cape Government has announced a new proposed traffic law for vehicle impoundments of serious traffic offenders. Wheels24 readers have shared their views on the proposal.  

Earlier in September, Wheels24 reported that the Western Cape government has published the Draft Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Administration Amendment Bill, 2016, for public comment.

The Bill proposes amending the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Administration Act, 2012, (Act 6 of 2012) to permit the impoundment of vehicles for certain serious road traffic offences, and to encourage road safety through education, promotion and research activities.

Download the draft here.

The Western Cape Amendment Bill proposes:

1. Enabling the provincial minister to make regulations in respect of the impoundment of vehicles for certain road traffic offences. 

2. Repealing the National Road Safety Act, 1972 (Act 9 of 1972) in the Western Cape and, in its place, adding provisions to the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Administration Act that will facilitate the promotion of road safety through educational, promotional and research activities. 

READ: Vehicle impounding on the cards for SA offenders - Have your say...

Western Cape provincial Minister for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, said:If the proposed provisions for impoundment in respect of high-risk offences are passed, road traffic enforcement agencies in the province will be able to deal more effectively with serious transgressions of the road traffic laws. If passed, the proposed provisions in respect of road traffic safety education and promotion will also go a long way to improving road safety in the Western Cape.

"Together, these proposed amendments are expected to make a significant contribution to bringing down the unacceptably high rates of road traffic crashes, injury and deaths in the Western Cape."  

Wheels24 readers have mixed feelings about the proposed draft, but most are in favour.

Do you think impounding vehicles will increase road safety in the Western Cape? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter

Readers respond: 

Tony de Wijn: Most cars are bought on HP (higher purchase) and so are owned by the banks until paid for in full. Drivers would not continue to pay HP payments on a car that was confiscated and the bank would have to try and 'repo' the car from the police. The banks would have to force drivers to take out special insurance to settle the debt if the vehicle was ever impounded. This would add so much to ALL monthly HP repayment that cars would be prohibitively expensive. When the car industry collapses and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs then this will stop looking like a good idea.  Rather "impound" the driver for a compulsory term in jail with no option of a fine.

Rheinalt von Hirschberg: I’ve scanned through the Draft but I can’t find anything about for what offence they will impound cars. Probably will increase the amount of the bribe the spietkop wants to turn a blind eye.

Steven Goldswain: I fully concur with what the WC government is calling for. However penalties should be harsh. If you are caught for drunken driving your car should be seized and then upon being found guilty the car should be crushed. Drunk driving does not happen by accident, it is a choice and as such should be harshly dealt with. The penalties for potential fatal actions on our roads are currently woefully inadequate.  
And please unsecured children should be a minimum fine of R10 000. That makes my blood boil.

Dianne Joubert: Cape Town – the law-abiding province. Only the Western Cape can come up with such a brilliant idea! Leaders in alternative solutions. What’s right is right! What’s wrong is wrong! Western Cape will not be held captive by law-breakers, culprits and criminals. Making the difference.

Barb Foster: YES! Now we can say cheers to the hundreds of unlicensed unroadworthy dangerous taxis in our city!! I saw a car the other day driving merrily around with NO DOOR. So yes, if they are a danger to innocent people then remove them 

Amin Levy: A very big problem on our highways is drivers driving slow on the right hand lane. This lane was for passing but on a 120 kph lane two cars driving 90 kph next to each other. This is also a danger to other traffic. We should rather concentrate on educating drivers than collecting money from fines. Learner drivers are taught to drive 40 kph and when they pass out they drive that on highways as well.
Just as speed kills low speed also kills.

Maria McNally: This is a good move and I believe it will curb bad driving practices. I am on the road Monday to Friday from 7am to around 5pm. I represent my Company. The amount of robot skipping, fast driving, fast weaving, stopping just anywhere. This I see daily. Not only cars, taxis, bakkies but huge trucks somedays they are the worst. 

Dirk du Toit: Yes, yes yes yes. Long overdue.Taxi population should be halved within a week. Crush the said taxis and sell for scrap. Thank you.

Diane Preston: Its possible, but not really. Further, our vehicles wont be safe. 

Rene Swanepoel: Some drivers also camouflage their number plates via faint black stripes. Impound for a week and driver needs to fit new number plates.

Sipho Sibiya: Yes that's a wonderful decision,because people don't pay their traffic fines and some of them are the friends the traffic officers.I some areas you won't get a traffic officer on the road for the whole week.

Saleen Naik: This proposal will open up citizens to further abuse by our traffic officials. How can an “officer” who doesn’t even understand his current job and these limitations can be expected to accurately and fairly impound a person’s property. All impounds MUST be agreed in-court as this affect a persons ability to provide for their family, earn an income and would jeopardise jobs. This is another way for the state to milk its citizens. Who guarantees the safety of this property during impound? What recourse do citizens have in this process? 

Ebrahim Petersen: I don't think impounding a vehicles is the correct procedure sounds like and apartheid tactic, instead of claiming your land, now they want to claim your car. A demerit system should be implemented and the drives licence removed from the owner.

Kobus Venter: There will no taxis left in about a month. Think of the huge impact that will have on business without employees being able to go to work!

Dennis Braaf: I totally agree with the suggestion but also would suggest that if the same vehicle and driver has committed the same offence more than three in a certain period that the vehicle is also impounded and that driver must then first pass a safety driving course which they have to pay for before release of the vehicle.

Philip Finestone: Yes yes yes. Especially vehicles which supply public transport, they have an even higher duty of care.

Pieter: For sure I support this law, as long as it is applied consistantly. Drivers and owners will think twice before ignoring traffic rules. I further suggest that the vehicles should be sold on an auction to generate funds for road accident claims, better salaries for law enforcement personnel and better infrastructure.

Jerry Augustine: The implementation of this law will go a long way to curb unlawful driving which is surely needed in this country.When we allow people to drive with no respect to fellow road users and no respect for human life we set ourselves up for great disasters.

Any person or organisation wishing to comment on the Draft Amendment Bill is requested to lodge such comment in writing on or before Wednesday 12 October 2016:

(a) by post to: 

ML Watters
Chief Engineer: Land Transport
Western Cape Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works
PO Box 2603
Cape Town 

(b) by e-mail to: 


(c) by hand to:

ML Watters
Room 3-33
3rd Floor
9 Dorp Street
Cape Town

Queries can be directed to Malcolm Watters at 021 483 2203

An electronic copy of the draft Bill is available on the Western Cape Government's website.


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