Traffic law enforcement: doing it by the book

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pretoria – Authorities are getting their ducks in a row to tighten traffic law enforcement to reduce carnage on South African roads.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters convened the National Traffic Indaba in Durban on Tuesday to get traffic law authorities across the country to read from the same page when it comes to enforcing the rules of the road.

The indaba comes just in time as millions of South Africans will be on the road to various destinations for the holidays.

“It cannot be correct that the traffic law enforcement fraternity remains fragmented and disintegrated with different conditions of employment, service, recruitment and training.

“As the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) shareholder committee, together with representatives from the South African Local Government Association, we have resolved that a law enforcement review committee be established to review law enforcement across the country and make recommendations,” said the Minister.

The RTMC shareholder committee includes the Minister of Transport and Community Safety MECs.

The 2013 World Health Organisation’s Global Status Report on Road Safety revealed that South Africa, together with India, had a rating of about 2.6 out of 10 on the quality of law enforcement among 100 randomly selected countries.

The report further found that there was a strong correlation between the quality of law enforcement and fatality rates -- the lower the quality of enforcement the higher the fatality rates.

There’s a new officer in town

To tighten enforcement, Minister Peters said the RTMC is committed to developing a “21st century cadre” for road traffic management in the country. This cadre is the kind of traffic officer who will enforce the rules without fear or favour.

“This cadre will be a dedicated and skilled traffic officer, who will enforce the rules of the road and protect and serve without fear or favour.  This cadre will ensure that all road users, including pedestrians, use our roads in a disciplined, orderly and safe manner,” Minister Peters said.

The 21st century traffic officer must be honest, ethical, disciplined, courageous, responsible and self-motivated.

“The cadre should be equipped with instruments, tools or materials that will ensure that his or her personal safety and that of the community they serve is always taken.

“The cadre must have a speed-measuring apparatus, alcohol test apparatus, measuring tapes, mass-measuring apparatus, summons books, infringement notices and an enabling motor vehicle,” she said.

The traffic indaba will end on Friday. -