Beach Road residents revved up over noise, racing

The signs are being ignored.

Residents of Beach Road are fed up with the noise of speeding cars and drivers who simply park and rev their engines in the Sea Point Promenade parking lots.

However, the speed and sounds that emanate from these vehicles are also impacting residents on High Level Road, Kloof Road and Ocean View Drive who believe the area between Maiden’s Cove parking lot and Sea Point are being used as a racing circuit.

“The noises from the exhausts are emitted by very specific highly detailed vehicles, and the speeds at which some of them race along Beach Road are unacceptable,” said Blake Wilkins.

“Our law enforcement officials clamped down quite acceptably some months back but that vigilance has not been maintained. I fear that one of these days a child will be run over and killed by racers on Beach Road unless the authorities take action and continue controlling the unlawful activities of possibly about 100 or so of these reckless drivers,” Mr Wilkins said.

Grant Richardson, who also lives on Beach Road, believes the City of Cape Town should be more hands-on with this problem.

“The traffic authorities were here a while ago, they were visible and it was better, no noise, but as soon as they disappeared then this problem persists,” said Mr Richardson.

“You cannot sit at restaurant with an outside area during the day without hearing a speeding car. It’s as if you’re at a race track and it’s disruptive. They (City) should engage with the drivers and maybe find another place where they can race as this noise is unpleasant.”

Mr Richardson added that the noise occurs during the afternoon until the late evening every weekend, with drivers not only revving their engines, but also playing loud music while in the parking lot.

“When you hear these cars speeding, you wait for an accident to happen. This road is relatively straight and I’ve seen how fire fighters had to cut people out of a car that crashed on this road,” he said of the three accidents he had witnessed on this road.

On Sunday November 21, 2 414 traffic offences were recorded by the DWI/Drag Racing Operations in the Sea Point area. Traffic Service spokesperson, Maxine Bezuidenhout, confirmed that they are aware of the standing complaints from the residents but pointed out that they could not arrest motorists for revving their engines.

“If the noise is excessive, the vehicles can be suspended and the faults must be rectified within 14 days. However, if a motorist’s driving behaviour is reckless, then they can be arrested for reckless or negligent driving,” said Ms Bezuidenhout.

Mr Richardson believes that speed cameras and desynchronized traffic lights will help curb the speeding on Beach Road.

“The only legal avenue for them currently is Killarney which hosts ’street to strip’ and ’robot to robot’ events regularly,” said Ms Bezuidenhout.

“Sea Point is just one ’hot spot’ location of many within the City of Cape Town boundaries where these activities take place and enforcement operations are continuously held in these areas to curb these activities.

“There is a solution currently available which is Killarney, but the racers either don’t want to pay, don’t want to conform to the rules of Killarney or complain that Killarney doesn’t host enough events to cater for their needs,” she added.

On Sunday alone there were 1 989 speeding offences with the highest speed recorded at 147km/h on FW De Klerk Boulevard and 118km/h on Helen Suzman Boulevard.

Marion Lewis says she cannot believe that this problem has persisted, in spite of the many objections she and other residents have raised with the relevant authorities.

“The noise is so bad that we cannot hear the TV or talk on the phone. Now the problem is getting worse because the racing is also on a Saturday night and a Sunday night and the past few weeks even during the night at all hours. The motor cyclists are equally badly behaved. The traffic cops are visible but I don’t think they are proactive,” she said.

The Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell says she is aware of the inconsiderate driving and added that ‘park-offs’ are not unique to this area.

“The traffic services operations are ongoing and as indicated, concentrated operations are being held to continually address the concerns.

“When faced with a vehicle that has modifications on it that result in noisy vehicles, then traffic officials can and will suspend this vehicle’s license. This means the modifications need to be amended, the vehicle will have to go through a roadworthy and be re-licensed within a few weeks,” said Ms Jowell.

The traffic department provided this list of the offences committed this past Sunday:

  • 5 arrests for reckless and negligent driving and driving under the influence
  • 2 failures to stop when instructed to
  • 13 Disaster Management Act (DMA) offences (no masks)
  • 38 vehicles suspended for unroadworthiness
  • 32 didn’t stop at red traffic lights
  • 16 disobeyed stop signs
  • 99 unlicensed drivers
  • 100 unlicensed vehicles
  • 27 failed to wear safety belts
  • 38 number plate offences
  • 20 smooth tyres
  • 17 cellphone impoundments
  • 484 speed offences on Helen Suzman Boulevard (highest speed 118km/h)
  • 1 170 speed offences on Camps Bay Drive (highest speed 101km/h)
  • 335 speed offences on FW De Klerk Boulevard (highest speed 147km/h)
Sea Point parking lot where the action happens.