Shortage of traffic officers

2019-09-25 06:02

OUT of 72 traffic law enforcement officials, only 24 are deployed per full shift to patrol the entire Nelson Mandela Bay metro’s roads of more than 1 900km.

This critical shortage comes after it was announced that 18 vacancies had not been filled due to pending budget approval.

According to the director of traffic and licensing in the metro, Warren Prins, the shortage of traffic officers in the metro means that just 24 officers, working in two shifts, are on duty per day to patrol the metro’s 60 wards.

“The traffic officers work in shifts of two throughout the day and cover the entire metro. Six officers work a shift in south of PE and six for the northern parts. This is from the morning until 00:00,” Prins said.

“This is the same for Uitenhage.

“It should be noted that even though there is a total of 72 officers, not all of them are deployed on the roads.

“Most of them work at the Greenbushes Traffic College and at traffic departments,” Prins said.

Furthermore, Prins said that roads in the metro are not being patrolled by traffic officers after 00:00, as the department does not have a 24-hour traffic service.

Prins added, “If we had to deploy our teams into the night, we would have to stretch them so thinly that their presence would be ineffectual.

“Unfortunately, we cannot always meet the demands of the public in terms of dealing with reckless driving and taxis violating traffic rules. However, we have put plans in place to work smarter such as the launch of the motorbike squad.”

The squad was recently deployed in an effort to ensure swift responses to accidents. However, the squad has been deployed on an ad hoc (when needed) basis on the metro’s main routes. The department has plans to expand the squad and train more officers.

Municipal spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said the road infrastructure and the volume of traffic on roads should also be taken into account.

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