Call for more traffic cops at night

2012-10-23 22:34

Johannesburg - There is no traffic policing in South Africa between 22:00 and 06:00, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) acting CEO Collins Letsoalo said on Tuesday.

"Our statistics show that most of the road crashes happened between 19:00 and midnight when our officers are not there," he said.

"When we say let’s remove the legacy and move to a 24-hour service, people say: 'Where is the money?' Most of the [traffic] authorities, even if they work at night, it is skeleton staff.

"Which means, effectively, between 22:00 and 06:00 there is no law enforcement on the road."

Letsoalo was speaking on the sidelines of a road safety conference in Boksburg.

He said the provincial authorities, save for the Western Cape, worked only from 06:00 to 22:00, leaving speedsters and drunk drivers on the loose between these times.

He said this approach to road policing had been inherited from a time when there were fewer people on the roads at night, and there were fewer cars on the road.


"Now we want a 24-hour service. The question that we must ask ourselves is, if it [accidents] cost the economy R307bn a year, I’m sure there should be money to save that money through that process [increasing officers during the night]."

Letsoalo said the RTMC had 17 000 officers nationally, and that 10 000 of them were based in Gauteng.

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) spent R14bn a year in payouts.

"I’m sure that at some point it makes more sense to prevent what RAF is paying out. That is our view."

Letsoalo presented to delegates the country’s strategy to reduce road fatalities by 20% a year.

Law enforcement topped the priorities in the strategy.

A study conducted by RTMC had shown that if the country increased its seat bealt wearing to 70%, road deaths would be reduced by 30%.

At present 14 000 people a year died on South Africa's roads.

Second on the strategy priorities was the fight against drunk driving.

"Our problem is that there has been a low rate of conviction of drivers arrested for [being] drunk and driving. It is less than 10%."

The past year, 13 000 people were arrested on the road and about 3 000 of that figure was for drunken driving, he said.

"This means only 300 of those will end up being convicted."

  • stanley.millar7 - 2012-10-23 22:58

    This guy is not serious, whose gonna hide in the bushes and stop a cars at 2am. - 2012-10-23 23:32

      lol....good point

      kabelo.leballo - 2012-10-24 07:37

      the point is not to hide, their presence makes a huge difference and we all know it... say you driving at 140km/h on a 120km/h zone, what do you do when you see a patrolling car flashing blue lights?.. #sigh

  • SharonE - 2012-10-23 23:00

    "He said this approach to road policing had been inherited from a time when there were fewer people on the roads at night, and there were fewer cars on the road." For real???? And how long ago was that?

      nel.westhuizen - 2012-10-23 23:43


  • piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-23 23:20

    No wonder they never see all those cars with no lights or defective lights!!

  • - 2012-10-24 00:14

    They should then employ people every 100m or so on every highway because MOST PEOPLE KILLED IN SA WALLKED INFRONT OF A CAR!!!!!!!

  • clive.brink - 2012-10-24 04:44

    It is dangerous to work on the roads at night, that is the time of day that criminals roam and ply their trade. Traffic cops will be sitting ducks for these criminals - can you imagine!

      arthur.salvado - 2012-10-24 07:29

      Maybe if the cops were out there then the criminals would not be plying their trade. Isn't it what cops are there for ?

  • snoopy.zoomzoom - 2012-10-24 05:13

    last week on my way from work after midnight was stopped 3 times and i felt safe its not true that we need hire more traffic officers at night,We got highway patrols,polices,traffic cops,speed cops they mush work as one and limit those crazy things that happens at night.Have you seen how many cars of those people i said above are driving around during there day and at night only few patrols.

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-10-24 06:37

    We, the voters and tax payers, are generally too apathetic to get involved in changing our surroundings and future by becoming part of our governing structures. It is clear to me that in the ward that I reside in, we have 40,000 people living here, if the last published census can be believed. Our ratepayers organization numbers a few hundred ratepayers of which only about 20 attend meetings on a regular basis. Our ward political organization, of choice, only has 98 active members. So if we want change let us start at home and get involved in the structures that have been created so that we can voice our desires from ground level up. We can then arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to effect change that will happen only when the authorities are forced to come to the party. Then of course we must not lose site of the fact that it takes increased funding to make our wish lists happen. We can always get what we want when we are happy to pay for it.

  • makgetha.ngwepe - 2012-10-24 06:40

    Shocking facts! With so many redundant metro cops I think we don't need new recruits but we need to restructure and shuffle the existing force

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-10-24 06:54

    Hey! in addition to the cops at night, where are they during the day? Looooong ago, they were so visible, so 'trimmed' and one felt safe even if you had to grab your seatbelt, and hold your breath in case you had done something wrong. Seriously, one only sees them when they are holding a 'raid patrol' and they are so scared of the truckers that they dont even bother to stop them. Those HUGE trucks are menace on the roads! It might be argued that the camera thingys take the place of traffic police, but then how many of you have EVER paid the fines from these? As far as I know, inlcuding myself very few...also, I hear they are not legal due to the delivery of fines etc. I guesss it is all about finance and mismanagement etc......although from an article we saw earlier, CT was moaning about the lack of collection? in the milllions if I reacall. Hell if there were more visible 'policing' taxis might go out of business, not only beacuse their bad driving, but the police use their own vehicles as taxis. I have seen piles of people getting out of police trucks, (lifts to town), laundry being delivered and even as yesterday, one police vehicle with furniture on the back. I have no solutions, only observations :)

  • sanet.odendaal.9 - 2012-10-24 06:55

    In NHL u only c traffic cops when they are buying food at KFC or Spar. And that's during the day.....!

      misstee.langhein - 2012-10-24 09:01

      Saw them at night once while we were buying pizza they were buying loose beers at the bottle store next door, whilst in uniform, in cop car, ON DUTY!!

  • vivienne.hanmer - 2012-10-24 07:17

    Nothing will ever change until road users start driving with respect for others on the road and obey basic traffic rules.

  • Robert Frankol - 2012-10-24 07:36

    F**k off polisie car

  • Lesley Shakong Maila - 2012-10-24 07:38

    letsoalo n his dept are wasting the time n money cos 80% traffic officers are corupt,took jojo n steal also with criminal

  • john.bollie - 2012-10-24 08:45

    Collins Letsoalo for President. For the 1st time somebody woke up to see the real problem. NO LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!! Mr Porche driver speeds at 200km/h and walk away a free man. How is that possible? He mentioned that there are 10 000 traffic cops in Gauteng. Of these 9000 are corrupt and the remaining 1000 are asleep somewhere..........

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