- Will more traffic cops cut the road carnage?
- What about annual roadworthy checks?
- And who’s going to police the traffic police?
PRETORIA, Gauteng – Plans to declare traffic-law enforcement an “essential service” to enable a 24-hour duty schedule for traffic cops is, the Automobile Association believes, “a positive development to be welcomed by all road-users in South Africa”.
The information came while transport minister Joe Maswanganyi was delivering his budget vote in parliament in Pretoria on Wednesday (May 24 2017).
The department’s plans, according to reports garnered by the AA, involve a twofold approach to increase traffic enforcement to 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
‘FIRST STEP IN CUTTING CARNAGE’
Road Traffic Management Corporation statistics say slightly more crashes occur between 6pm and 6am when most traffic officers are off duty. The AA commented:
“Having traffic officers on duty during this time may lead to positive results. We welcome the move as a first step to dealing with the carnage on our roads.”
The AA statement added, however, that driver education was important. “The department must educate drivers on the need for compliance. Without public understanding the consequences of non-compliance with traffic laws the current situation of disregarding the law will continue.”
HOPE FOR BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The AA also welcomed the minister’s remarks that his department would also focus on provincial and national road maintenance and and improve public transport for commuters. About this the AA said:
“Making public transport more readily available is also relevant in a country because of the rising costs of personal-vehicle ownership. It will, for instance, make it easier for children to get to and from school without having to rely on unscrupulous operators who use unroadworthy vehicles, or who drive without licences.”
…AND A FEW HOLES IN THE ROAD
The Corner comments: All the traffic officers in the world will make no difference to unlicensed drivers, corrupt drivers’ licence departments, ignorance of the rules of the road, greedy operators more interested in profit than vehicle maintainence, rampant bribery at traffic stops and speed traps, roadside sales of damaged and worn second-hand tyres, lack of annual private-vehicle roadworthy checks and the sheer stupidity of pedestrians.
But good luck to the minister, anyway.