Ensuring safer roads for all

STAFF REPORTER

Drunk drivers and street racers beware, a new dedicated City of Cape Town Roadblock Unit hit the streets this month.

The unit will focus on enforcing the National Road Traffic Act as well as tracking suspects wanted for crimes and outstanding warrants.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate said they decided to establish an integrated Roadblock Unit, comprising 18 officers from various departments including the City’s Traffic Service, Metro police, Law Enforcement and the Western Cape Traffic Department.

The unit will link with the Traffic Services Ghost Squad from time to time and the City has also invited South African Police Service (SAPS) to join the initiative.

The integrated Metro Police Roadblock Unit will be responsible for executing roadblocks on a permanent basis across the city, with a specific focus on drinking and driving, stolen vehicles, and illegal street racing.

The City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: “Roadblocks are an integral policing tool, but in recent years our services have been stretched by an increasing workload thanks to service delivery protests, gang violence and land invasions. The result is that we have not been able to have as many roadblocks as we would like. This unit is a step towards rectifying that situation.

“I’m looking forward to a positive response from the SAPS to further strengthen this initiative and then, of course, we are hoping that other elements within the criminal justice system are addressed too.

“Ideally, we want to move away from the current situation where a drunk driving case takes years to conclude.”