Concerns rise as drunk driving arrests in the Western Cape quadruple

Drunk driving has increased during the festive season. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Newspapers

Drunk driving has increased during the festive season. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 19, 2023


The Western Cape MEC of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie has raised his concerns as drunk driving arrests have quadrupled in the last week.

He expressed his concerns as traffic crashes and road fatalities increase and has urged road users to take this seriously and obey the rules of the road.

Over the last week, Provincial Traffic Officers have stopped and checked over 37% more vehicles and issued 55% more fines than the previous week.

“Alarmingly, the number of arrests made for drunk driving over the last week has quadrupled from 25, in the previous week, to 103 arrests. The number of passengers killed in road crashes has also increased dramatically,” Mackenzie said.

“The actions that keep people alive on the roads are simple - buckle up, check your vehicle and tyres, do not drink and drive, do not speed or take chances overtaking dangerously, and stop and rest when tired or every 200km.”

He also urged road freight companies to ensure their truck drivers behave responsibly and are not under pressure to take risks.

“I have been flabbergasted watching large tucks overtaking two or three other trucks without adequate visibility,” Mackenzie said.

“Or drivers not taking rest breaks to combat fatigue. Just one driver falling asleep at the wheel can have fatal consequences for many.”

He said traffic inspectors conducted 335 integrated roadblocks, vehicle check points, and speed control operations and stopped and checked 47,404 vehicles across the Western Cape.

A total of 15,570 fines were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness. A total of 19 vehicles were impounded and 171 were discontinued for being found to be unroadworthy

Officers also recorded 228 speeding offences with the highest speed of 182km/h in a 120km/h zone.

Officers arrested 138 suspects - 182% more than the previous week - of which 103 suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (over 300% more than the previous week).

Over the past week, 21 crashes were reported and 30 fatalities (over 40% more than the previous week).

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