Cape Town – The Sustainable Warrant operation, launched in February 2019, has caught the attention of motorists with an increase in the number of people owning up to outstanding warrants of arrest for unpaid traffic-related debt.
The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service served just shy of 10 000 warrants during the first four weeks of its Sustainable Warrant operation, which has now become a permanent feature of the department’s operations.
Launched on 26 February 2019, the operation has seen more resources devoted to Operation Reclaim which aims to clear a backlog of warrants for traffic offences and hold more motorists accountable, in order to drive behavioural change and reduce motor vehicle accidents and the resultant death toll.
Scofflaws are being tracked down through Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, roaming patrols, roadblocks and officers going door-to-door.
In the first four weeks (until 26 March 2019), traffic officers have:
- Served 9 855 warrants valued at R16 071 550
- Arrested 123 motorists who were held in custody until their court appearance
- Arrested 3 398 motorists who were later released on a warning to either settle their warrants or appear in court on a later date
"The statistics are extremely encouraging. If we’re able to sustain the pace of the operation, road safety and courteous driving can only improve going forward. We indicated at the start of this operation that it is not about arresting motorists, but about getting them to attend to their fines and warrants.
"We have stayed true to this undertaking as only a fraction of the motorists who have been apprehended have been taken into custody," said Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
The Cape Town Traffic Service has also noted an increase in the number of motorists visiting driving licence testing centres to enquire about and to settle outstanding warrants. An increase has also been observed in the number of administration marks that have been removed from the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS).
The administration mark was introduced several years ago to prevent motorists from conducting transactions on the NaTIS, like renewing vehicle licences or driving licences if they had warrants for unpaid traffic fines.
It is one of a number of measures introduced by the City to hold motorists accountable for their actions and to drive behavioural change behind the wheel in the interest of road safety.
Motorists are reminded that they can check the status of fines or warrants by registering on www.paycity.co.za and pay the fines online if they so choose.
Alternatively, the City offers a number of payment options, outlined here: http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Pay/Driving-and-vehicles/Fines/Pay-your-traffic-fine