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The massive number of traffic fines Cape Town hands out in a day

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service records an average of 3.6 million offences a year, translating to around 9,863 fines being handed out every single day.

These cover everything from speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to false documentation, driving a stolen vehicle, or assaulting an officer.

The metro brought to light this enormous figure after successfully bringing to justice several of its top warrant dodgers in recent months.

On Thursday, 8 May 2024, the city’s traffic officials carried out warrant checks on motorists and happened across a driver who had 35 outstanding warrants valued at R111,300, who was duly detained at Wynberg Police Station shortly thereafter.

A week later, on 16 May, Cape Town officials were conducting tracing operations for the top 100 offenders on its list and subsequently spotted a vehicle that was identified as belonging to one of their targets.

They attempted to pull over the car but the driver refused to stop and sped off. He later abandoned the vehicle and continued on foot, but officers caught up with him.

He was detained at Wynberg SAPS once again, where records showed he had 30 outstanding warrants totalling R101,700.

On 8 June, traffic officers noticed a minibus taxi attempting to avoid a vehicle checkpoint by making a U-turn before driving through it, and they subsequently gave pursuit.

Shortly after the chase began, the driver abandoned his taxi on the road and attempted to escape on foot. He was quickly caught and escorted to the Milnerton police station, where it was discovered that he had 72 outstanding warrants to his name to the tune of R140,000.

“It’s ironic how the very people who have such contempt for law and order lose all bravado when they come face to face with the uniform,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

Cape Town Highway Patrol

Beware third-party platforms

While many of these fines go unpaid for years, the City of Cape Town urges motorists who are inclined to do the right thing to be careful of who they trust to settle their fines.

‘There is this long-held belief that paying traffic fines is a chore that requires endless hours of queueing or visits to the municipal courts to seek reductions or to dispute fines,” said Smith.

“It is no surprise then that so many people have turned to third-party service providers who offer to settle fines and renew motor vehicle licences, amongst others, for a fee.”

Unfortunately, Smith notes that the metro has received numerous complaints of service providers leaving motorists out of pocket, and still on the hook for fines that they thought had been cleared.

This is not a new phenomenon as it has been up and down for several years, but it is once again rearing its ugly head.

The city advises that Cape Town residents contact their bank or make use of banking apps for assistance in settling traffic fines, or doing so at www.paythat.co.za.

In person, Cape Town residents can pay their dues at any City cash office, Driving Licence Testing Centre, Municipal court, or selected Spar (Kwikpay) stores.

“There is very little that the City can do in instances where motorists have been fleeced, and persons who have lost money are encouraged to report it to the South African Police Services,” concluded Smith.

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