Bad drivers beware! Joburg has a new WhatsApp-based hotline

Reporting reckless and negligent driving in Joburg is easy thanks to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) launch of the pilot Buya Mthetho hotline project on Wednesday.

"This hotline allows residents to report reckless and inconsiderate road behaviour along [via WhatsApp] with other by-law infringements," City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said.

WATCH: Taxi drivers behaving badly

Other by-law infringements include the possession of hijacked/stolen motor vehicles, the possession of stolen goods and as the possession or dealing in drugs 

"They will be able to upload the footage onto the WhatsApp-based hotline, whereafter the JMPD will follow up and take the necessary actions," Mashaba added.

In February, the JMPD recorded 541 cases of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and 21 of reckless and negligent driving.

Through the WhatsApp-based initiative, residents can: take a clear photo or video of the subject of complaint along with the registration number of the vehicle and other relevant information; upload a short description, including the date, time and location of the incident; and

provide their names and contact details, which will be kept anonymous.  

"The launch of this pilot project is aimed at creating a safer city that is enhanced for all, especially since reckless driving and driving under the influence has been at the top of the monthly transgressions.

"On a daily basis, the JMPD receives complaints of bad driving and blatant disregard of traffic laws and rules. We also receive complaints on noise and other by-law infringements. Often and unfortunately, these incidences are not reported to the correct authorities," Mashaba said.

WATCH: Pedestrian mowed down by taxi driving in the wrong lane

He added that once a complaint is received, the JMPD will analyse the evidence and deal with it accordingly. This could include submitting the complaint to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution. 

Mashaba emphasised that the photo or video must been taken by the complainant themselves.

Forwarded photos or clips, or those downloaded from other sources are not allowed.

The complainant must also be able and willing to testify against the offender if required in terms of the legal process. 

The reckless driving hotline WhatsApp number is 081 410 6338.

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