Metro cops don flashing body lights to make them more visible

29 March 2019 - 07:34 By Ernest Mabuza
Metro police displaying the flashing lights attached to their uniforms.
Metro police displaying the flashing lights attached to their uniforms.
Image: Screenshot from Twitter video by City of Joburg

Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department cars are not the only things that come with flashing lights, with the force's officers now adding an extra piece to their arsenal to make themselves more visible at night.

That addition is body lights, which were presented to the officers on Wednesday during the City of Johannesburg’s launch of a WhatsApp-based hotline which enabled motorists to report traffic violations by other road users.

The 1,000 pairs of body lights were donated to the city by a resident who offered to assist.

The body lights, with rechargeable batteries, will be worn by officers on patrol on top of their reflective vests to ensure they are more visible.

City of Johannesburg MMC for public safety Michael Sun said on Thursday the city had been looking for devices to ensure its officers were more visible at night. This following an incident last year during which a drunk motorist knocked over two officers.

"The driver claimed he did not see the officers despite the fact that they were in full reflective gear. There were also other incidents where officers were knocked over when it was dark," Sun said.

He said a concerned resident had approached the city and offered to assist.

Chairman of the South African Chinese Enterprises Association Xingli Zheng sourced the lights and donated 1,000 pairs.

Sun said that apart from having blue and red lights, the body lights also had an LED light which could be used as a torch.

"We are very appreciative of the community members wanting to assist us in keeping the officers safe. We need to find alternative ways when it gets dark, such as during load-shedding, when officers need to go out to direct traffic and be visible.

"We hope with these body lights, our officers will be more visible to approaching motorists," Sun said.