News24

Blue-light BMW 'often seen speeding'

2011-11-10 10:03

Johannesburg - A white BMW X5 like the one belonging to the Gauteng MEC for local government and housing is apparently a frequent offender when it comes to breaking traffic rules on the road where a Krugersdorp matric was run over.

Riaan Olivier from Krugersdorp works in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, and travels along the R28 every day.

“Then I see that white X5. Often when it can’t overtake, then lights go on and it begins speeding. I have seen it overtake on the yellow line and drive through a red traffic light. You just duck!

“This is every time I’ve seen it.”

Thomas Ferreira, 18, was knocked from his motorbike on Saturday morning on the R28 at the intersection of Paardekraal and Windsor Road. A white BMW X5, the official car of MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, hit him.

According to witnesses, the driver overtook other cars on the left on the yellow line, switching on his flashing blue lights, and then ignored a red traffic light.

Beeld on Wednesday printed photographs of the BMW and the driver. Olivier recognised the car. He couldn’t recognise the driver or passenger as the windows were tinted, but said he had seen the BMW about three times over the past month.

Blue light policy

A senior provincial leader in the ANC admitted to Beeld that provincial leaders misused their blue-light privileges.

“Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.”

Mmemezi’s spokesperson, Motsamai Motlhaolwa, on Wednesday referred all enquiries to the office of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

Mokonyane’s spokesperson, Xoli Mngambi, said witnesses with information about this or any other case should contact the investigating officer.

The National Road Traffic Act states clearly that only emergency vehicles and the police are allowed to use blue lights in an emergency situation.

National police spokesperson Colonel Vish Naidoo wouldn’t release the police’s policy document about the use of blue lights to Beeld.

Naidoo said police officers were permitted to use “their own judgement” when deciding when blue lights were necessary.

Beeld learned from a source within the police that the driver was Semietsi Joseph Modomai, 36, from Tshepisong in Soweto.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said on Wednesday Modomai would not be arrested at this stage because a charge of reckless or negligent driving was being investigated. For charges like these, a warning was issued to the accused to appear in court.
 

Comments
  • rowan.maulson - 2011-11-10 10:09

    I am Jack's complete and utter lack of surprise...

      Felix - 2011-11-10 10:25

      Tyler ftw

      Warren - 2011-11-10 10:55

      "You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing." Since when has anyone remotely associated with the cANCer ever felt any sort of embarrassment? It is always something, or more likely someone else's fault. Deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny...deny!

      dracolusus - 2011-11-10 11:04

      I don't think I've ever seen a BLB driving normally and not speeding , basically driving other cars off the road or forcing them out the way. Its not even a joke anymore.

  • Clayton - 2011-11-10 10:12

    So rather than been late for a meeting you would endanger the lives of the people and almost kill someone ...

  • Mike - 2011-11-10 10:14

    “Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.” --------------------- This is the crux, what de hell makes you think your normal job as government official makes your meeting more important than mine or any other private business person? We have to live with planning meetings, and being on time but we can not chase around like idiots to do our work, if we could can you think of the chaos? You are NOT more important than us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Mike - 2011-11-10 10:47

      If it was me, I will sue the government if that child have brain damage or needs more medical cost. Just road accident fund claim is not enough. The government must pay for their carelessness towards their citizens

  • Marc - 2011-11-10 10:15

    “Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.” - So being earlier is a lot more important than your and others' lives?

      StarStruck - 2011-11-10 10:22

      There is just far to much HEAT around these blue light offenders. There is apsolutely no way he is going to escape his fate from the law. He would be jailed in a functioning democracy.

      PyroSA - 2011-11-10 11:55

      If you make a habit of racing between meetings like this, it just becomes expected that you'd be racing regularly, so they put in more meetings... not solving the problem.

  • Deon - 2011-11-10 10:21

    Pass ther buck, duck and dive and at all costs do not admit responsibility! That is the ANC way, it seems.

  • Elaine - 2011-11-10 10:22

    “Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.” What could be a matter of life and death meeting be to such an important portfolio as HOUSING?

      guyt1 - 2011-11-10 10:38

      Especially when anything to do with housing takes years to complete

  • Mike - 2011-11-10 10:23

    These clowns can not manage a diary what are the chances to them been able to manage our country.

  • Herman - 2011-11-10 10:26

    Start making video's of these incidents, then we just post them everywhere, maybe that could start soemthing?

  • Bokfan - 2011-11-10 10:30

    Criminals

  • Gaby - 2011-11-10 10:33

    Charge the maaifoedie MEC!

  • tristan.kilian - 2011-11-10 10:35

    The late Mr Humphrey Mmemezi.

      tristan.kilian - 2011-11-10 10:35

      Has a certain ring to it, no?

  • Victor - 2011-11-10 10:39

    I've seen traffic cars speeding on the OR Tambo freeway in the emergency lane, and once they turn off at Hans Strijdom Ave, they switch their lights of and drive normally, probably on their way home. Again, no other words for them but idiots.

      Clayton - 2011-11-10 10:42

      I have never seen a blue light vehicle driving the speed limit , it’s always a “emergency” situation for them ...

  • jhovelmeier - 2011-11-10 10:41

    So running someone over and possible killing them is better than being embarrassed to be late for a meeting! Don’t accept a meeting so close to another one then.

      Tyrone - 2011-11-10 12:31

      I agree, if we can plan our days correctly then so can they.

  • sefeddt - 2011-11-10 10:41

    “Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.” Sorry if Zille can do it without misusing the blue light and still run the best province in the country then why cant others. LEAD BY EXAMPLE

  • Shaun - 2011-11-10 10:49

    You have seen it break many laws Riaan Olivier, yet you have done nothing to report it! Hope the youngster makes a complete and full recovery!

  • missymaks - 2011-11-10 10:52

    They need to review their Blue light policy cause they seem to think they are above the law and the very people who make it possible to enjoy the luxuries of being a Government official. Bottom line they are civil servants who shouldnt be above the law at all.

      brianmacza - 2011-11-10 11:03

      The issue here is that they are ELECTED OFFICIALS there to do the best they can for the PUBLIC. Their job is a PRIVILEGE and they consider it a RIGHT. My take is that the ministers of transport and police should be charged for criminal neglect of their posts for permitting this to happen in the first place. Only when we make elected officials accountable for their portfolio will we get a rational response.

  • Fenderbender - 2011-11-10 11:01

    "The National Road Traffic Act states clearly that only emergency vehicles and the police are allowed to use blue lights in an emergency situation" - please define emergency ? Happy hour at the district council or ZAR

  • Bigwolf - 2011-11-10 11:02

    This guy must do the time, due to braking so many laws over taking on the left driving along yellow lines through red robots and abuse of Blue lights did not know he was law enforcement not to mention leaving the crime area. Sounds like a bad scripted movie LOL.

  • Alex - 2011-11-10 11:05

    They speed to get to meetings... Really? I wonder what meetings these people have at 6pm on a friday afternoon driving north on the N1? The blue light mentality is indicative of the current mentality of entitlement of government officials.

  • Paul Johnson - 2011-11-10 11:22

    The "

  • gcshrimpton - 2011-11-10 11:24

    Vish Naidoo ur an rsol? What r u trying 2 hide?

  • Paul Johnson - 2011-11-10 11:26

    The "officials" abuse this privilege. I have often seen "Blue Light" convoys traveling at very high speed intimidating other drivers to move out of the way. They have no right to do this. The lights must be removed, and they should observe the same rules all citizens have to.

  • jeanne.stemmet - 2011-11-10 11:49

    As far as I know, emergency (blue/ red) lights are used in conjunction with common sense. You know what I'm talking about - the ambulance needing to get to the hospital with a patient in a serious condition, drives through traffic (as efficiently as possible - with people making way by pulling to the left-hand side - the ambulance not necessarily speeding)... And then, when they get to a red traffic light, they pause/ wait for the oncoming traffic to clear the intersection and cars to give them the right of way before proceeding across. I know that emergency driver training covers all this and more - definitely covers not to endanger the public. Wonder if the official government drivers still go on this training - or are the officials just too worried about themselves and their little tardy records to care? If an official controls his/ her meetings, there should be no need for acting all busy and important. Oh yes... Get properly trained drivers. The South African voters are sick of getting scared out of our wits/ injured or worse for the sake of your next meeting/ funeral/ cocktail party... Go on a time management course why don't you? Do what you must to sort it out.

  • jeanne.stemmet - 2011-11-10 11:49

    As far as I know, emergency (blue/ red) lights are used in conjunction with common sense. You know what I'm talking about - the ambulance needing to get to the hospital with a patient in a serious condition, drives through traffic (as efficiently as possible - with people making way by pulling to the left-hand side - the ambulance not necessarily speeding)... And then, when they get to a red traffic light, they pause/ wait for the oncoming traffic to clear the intersection and cars to give them the right of way before proceeding across. I know that emergency driver training covers all this and more - definitely covers not to endanger the public. Wonder if the official government drivers still go on this training - or are the officials just too worried about themselves and their little tardy records to care? If an official controls his/ her meetings, there should be no need for acting all busy and important. Oh yes... Get properly trained drivers. The South African voters are sick of getting scared out of our wits/ injured or worse for the sake of your next meeting/ funeral/ cocktail party... Go on a time management course why don't you? Do what you must to sort it out.

  • Clive - 2011-11-10 12:36

    Blue Lights should be used for the manner intended "EMERGENCIES" being late for a meeting is not an emergency, Just because you are a minister of somesort doesnt mean you can break the law. Every proffesional in South Africa has important meetings and we dont get blue lights....or maybe we can? just need to go buy one.... i dunno, but its now killed someone.....

  • Ulindi - 2011-11-10 12:58

    “Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.” Millions of other motorist sit in the same traffic in between meetings. These officials are just scum bags who think they are above the law and thus misuse and abuse the power given to them.

  • Simon - 2011-11-10 13:30

    Join Blockthebluelightbrigands on Fbook to raise social conscience with regards to the gross abuse of privilege by our elected officials. They are elected by us and we did not give them permission to kill our children because they are late for a meeting. Email BlocktheBlueLightBrigands@groups.facebook.com

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