Bullying after MEC justifies blue lights

2010-04-16 00:00

DURING an interpellation at the legislature on the use and abuse of blue lights by politicians’ convoys this week, KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu rubbished allegations of the persistent abuse of power through the use of blue lights.

He said provisions of the Road Traffic Act authorise law enforcement officials to exceed general speed limits and disregard road traffic signs while acting in the execution of their duties.

Now, just a day after that debate, a local doctor says he was harassed by “blue light bullies”.

The doctor, who asked not to be named, was driving on the N2 towards Umhlanga Rocks at about 8 am to attend to a patient, when an Audi A3 (NP 156 135) tried to force him off the road.

The doctor couldn’t move over to the left lane as it was congested with traffic.

“I was shaking, not knowing what to do, because here was a law enforcer causing chaos on the road during peak hour. Eventually I got a gap to move to the slow lane and the Audi shot past me, flicking its lights at motorists who were in front of me to give way. I had moved back to the fast lane when suddenly a white Golf GTI (NP 122 572), also with flashing lights, did the same thing.”

Both vehicles had blue lights and tinted windows.

He took down both the cars’ number plates to report the reckless driving.

He got to a clear stretch and accelerated, trying to gauge the vehicles’ speed. “I clocked 180 km per hour, but I could only see the two cars at a distance. They must have been doing more than 200 km per hour,” said the doctor.

He reported the incident to the Road Traffic Management Corporation. He said an agent could not tell him who the vehicles belonged to.

Sources at the Road Traffic Inspectorate told The Witness that the Audi belongs to the Public Transport Enforcement Unit, while the Golf’s registration number is not on its system.

RTI spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu confirmed that the Golf’s registration number is not on the inspectorate’s system.

Another RTMC agent told The Witness that action is taken against a driver of a blue light vehicle only after three complaints are reported.

“On the first two complaints, the vehicle is tracked down through our electronic national traffic information system and warning letters are issued … On the third complaint, the Metro police are involved,” said the agent, but declined to state what action follows.

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