‘Traffic officers to work nights’

2012-10-25 00:00

TO REDUCE the number of accidents caused by reckless and drunken driving, traffic officers need to work a 24-hour shift, said the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in a statement.

The IFP spokesperson on police, Velaphi Ndlovu, said: “Traffic officers should work 24 hours in conjunction with the police. Police officers cannot adequately monitor the roads and respond to criminal activities — one of the two duties will be neglected. If traffic officers were around, fatalities would be reduced.”

He said road accidents cost the economy R307 billion a year, while the Road Accident Fund is said to spend R14 billion a year on claims.

“If the Road Traffic Management Corporation [RTMC] is … to have traffic officers work 24 hours, these figures are sure to be reduced,” said Ndlovu.

He said since more accidents happened at night, when drivers know that traffic officers are not around, their presence will force drivers not only to obey the rules of the road, but to change their driving habits in general, including regarding drinking and driving.

He said implementing the plan would reduce festive season casualties.

KZN transport department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said his department was far ahead with preparations to finalise the 24-hour shift.

“On Tuesday we presented the progress that has been made in this regard to the transport portfolio committee,” he said.

Ncalane said an internal document highlighting details of the financial implications, looking into the number of staff required and other challenges that need to be resolved before implementing the 24-hour shift, had been presented to the committee.

The department would advertise critical posts so that there would be no staff shortages when the 24-hour shift is implemented.

“This matter has been on our agenda since the beginning of this financial year, but we still need to conclude it with labour,” he added.

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