City proposes changes to Traffic By-Law

The proposed changes will result in unregistered vehicles being impounded.
October is transport month and the City of Cape Town is proposing a raft of changes to its Traffic By-Law.

In terms of the draft document, authorised officials may, in the interest and the safety of the public, without prior written notice, impound vehicles where the:

– vehicle was involved in reckless or negligent driving or illegal street racing;

– vehicle is unlicensed or the licence disc has been expired for more than 90 days;

– vehicle is unregistered;

– vehicle is not fitted with licence plates,

– vehicle is damaged or is in a state of disrepair and is, in the opinion of the authorised official, not roadworthy;

– vehicle is a taxi which is being operated in contravention of the conditions of approval its operating licence or off the approved route;

– vehicle has been left abandoned as specified in section 61;

– driver of the vehicle is unlicensed, or the driver does not have his or her driver’s licence available for inspection;

– driver of the vehicle is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect; or

– driver did not stop when signalled to do so by an authorised official resulting in the driver having to be pursued and forced to stop;

Moreover, the chapter dealing with public transport operators now includes a section that speaks specifically to the e-hailing sector. It requires drivers of e-hailing vehicles operating within the City’s jurisdiction to clearly display a tag identifying the vehicle as such, along with a valid operating license.

The amended draft by-law document is available here:

The public participation process will run from today until Thursday October 31.

Residents can make submissions online at or view the draft by-law at their local library or subcouncil office. Written submissions can be delivered to the nearest subcouncil office.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: “We encourage members of the public to fully engage with the draft document and to submit their comments timeously. While the proposed impoundment of private vehicles is likely to be one of the key focus points, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Impounding vehicles will likely make wrongdoers think twice, but more importantly, could potentially save lives.”