Motoring expert Ciro De Siena has warned drivers that all hand-held cellphone use while driving is a finable offence.
De Siena recently had his cellphone impounded by a metro police ghost squad member while sending a text message at a Cape Town intersection.
According to De Siena, the officer carried a device that recorded his signature and details, and printed out the R500 traffic fine on the spot.
The officer took his details and placed his phone in a sealed box.
After 24 hours had passed, De Siena was able to collect his phone from the traffic department - for an additional release fee of R 1165.
I stopped at the interaction with my phone on my lap, sending a message to the girlfriend. Then I just hear the sirens and a Volkswagen CC ghost squad car [appeared].— Ciro De Siena, Motor Journalist at Cars.co.za
A very nice police officer pulled me over and explained to me that he was going to take my phone and give me a fine.— Ciro De Siena, Motor Journalist at Cars.co.za
You don't have to be talking on your phone for it to be an offence, you just need to have it in your hand while you're driving.— Ciro De Siena, Motor Journalist at Cars.co.za
Take a listen to him relay his experience: