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CPT drivers to pay for confiscated phones

Motorists caught using a cellphone while driving will now pay a R1,140 fine.

A motorist’s cellphone impounded on the Nelson Mandela Boulevard on 5 July 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has told Eyewitness News it is intensifying its efforts to crack down on motorists caught using their mobile phones while driving.

From Monday motorists who can't resist using their phones while behind the wheel will have to pay a fine of R1,140 to get their confiscated devices back.

A municipal by-law was implemented last year and has seen dozens of mobile phones seized.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith said the council has noted less people are breaking the by-law "but certainly not as much as we would like".

"People say the cellphone can be recovered for free the next day from the pound, which means there is no meaningful disincentive. But we're adding a tariff."

Smith said the Western Cape was seeing less road deaths while road death tolls in other cities were steadily increasing.

"The Western Cape has brought down the death toll admirably. Cape Town is the only big city that has seen a reduction in the death toll on our roads because of our diligent focus on the causes of death on our roads, of which distracted driving is an important contributor."