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Fri Dec 19 10:38:22 SAST 2014

Reckless driving - are the traffic police the most to blame?: iLIVE

Chris Barry | 05 February, 2013 11:35

My goodwill towards some of the traffic police is not particularly high at the moment.

I know of two people recently harassed late at night for a “bonus payment” for a “transgression”.

One of them is one of our employee drivers­––he was stopped because of the new ridiculous police clearance system, he was towing a trailer to the police clearance facility in Benoni.

The traffic police tried to apprehend our driver with the implication that the trailer was stolen and therefore must go straight to the police pound.

The objective of the traffic police in my opinion had nothing to do with morality on stolen items but more to do with “bonuses”.

Luckily our driver is thorough and actually taught them a thing or two about the new system. The point is our employee still felt shaken at the aggressive behaviour of the traffic police.

HCV has been commenting and supporting opinion on how individuals, the public and government employees must embark on some introspection when it comes to our unacceptably high levels of aggression, road rage and shocking road fatality statistics.

And we support those who already uphold standards, but for the rest, the message is stop complaining, do some introspection as that is the best place to start.

Take this example: I came across an accident at about 7am on January 26, 2013. There are no other vehicles involved.

I speculate, and I repeat, speculate, that this police vehicle was driving way too fast. I hope the occupants are not harmed, as you can see by the telltale evidence in the picture, there were no safety belts.

The driver was either going too fast to negotiate the curves or missed/ failed to gauge the proximity of the island, which ––as I know this road very well –– is far less tame than it appears. No doubt, this is a big accident.

I was also surprised that I was allowed to take pictures.

Furthermore, this is the critical point, I asked a very helpful bystander policeman, “What happened?” His answer, “They were reacting to a report of a robbery…”

The crux of this piece questions: If our traffic police, or any other traffic officials, want to drive fast (which clearly, with all the Golf GTi’s in service, they do) and if they want to earn the respect of South African citizens (which ultimately I am sure they do) then surely they should not be allowed to drive new cars or LDVs until they have proven their skills at Advanced Driving Academies or similar training facilities.

After all, one of their most important skills should be the ability to react appropriately to emergencies. Emergency ambulance drivers get it right, so why can’t the traffic police?

In the meantime, I think most drivers, such as the ones in this example, should be confined to desk duty.

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