REPORT ON HUMAN SETTLEMENT, PUBLIC SAFETY AND LIAISON |
By Isaac Sipho Mfundisi
We notice and appreciate that the National Rolling Enforcement Plan is meant and designed to ensure visibility, efficient and effective traffic law enforcement.
It is quite clear that for one to be visible one does not have to hide behind bushes as if one is ambushing enemies as the traffic officers are wont to. To be visible traffic officers should be on the road patrolling and assisting stranded motorists. It seems on the N4 this is meant to be the baby of the Bakwena Roads Agency while traffic officials go past at terrific speed.
To be efficient they have to take into account the 8 principles of Batho Pele while to be effective traffic officers have to be honest and not keep asking for cold drinks from motorists they have stopped. It will help if they could take a leave from the book of the Stats SA officials who are not and will not take anything from the household they visit. The officers should not compromise themselves; their conduct should be above board. This should happen before we have a situation similar to the one on Bees in Tshwane
As the plan is the product of joint efforts of the nine provincial, six metropolitan and various municipal traffic departments it send a sense of ease that there will be commonalities in standards of approach.
While the plan is being introduced in three phases it will eventually cover inter alia:
- Millennium development Goals
- Resolutions of the Moscow Declaration
- National Fatal Crash Report
- The resolutions from 3rd Africa Road Safety Congress
In an effort to bring down or get rid of human lives, pain suffering and cost to the economy and individual no stone should be left unturned in:
- hitting the speedsters were it matters most, their pockets and possibility of them losing their drivers’ licenses
- Ensuring that pedestrians behave themselves well
- Placing and treating those who drink and drive where they belong and the way they should be treated is left to the courts of the land
- Observing barrier lines - the recent accident outside Zeerust was occasioned by flagrant disregard of a sign for barrier line. It is sad that we have lost so many teachers in that moment of stupidity and madness
- Motorists and their passengers should learn that safety belts are not worn to please the traffic officers, these belts are meant to save the lives of the occupants of the vehicle
There is need to ensure that government employs sufficient traffic enforcement officers. Government can’t speak of job creation and the reduction of unemployment when in their own sector there is such a great need for traffic officers. Government should say to the private sector: “Do as we do; we have filled all vacant posts”.
It is unfortunate that departments are wont to report to legislature committees and portray themselves as walking the talk. That the Bapong traffic and way bridge is manned 24/7 is a far from the truth as the North Pole is from the South Pole. I speak on authority because I drive past the place far more often than they themselves do.
Traffic officers should themselves desist from using cellular phones while driving.
The issue of how AARTO was introduced in the province leaves much to be desired. Despite that the legislation was assented to in 1998, the provincial honchos are only making half-hearted efforts this year, 11 years after promulgation.
The UCDP is vindicated in this matter because when we debated on the State of the Province early in the year, the Premier felt we were not up to the game and it has come out that we were on the ball; it is the provincial government that is lagging behind.
People on the ground know nothing about the legislation. It is painful because it works on a demerit system on driver licenses. People in the North West may not have enough time to be informed about the law. In Gauteng already they have a dry run of its implementation.
The UCDP moves that the good intentions as made by government be supported