A COVERT Metro Police unit, operating with unmarked vehicles that are fully equipped to record traffic violations, took to the Bay’s streets last Wednesday.
“We are taking back our roads from lawlessness and the general disregard for traffic laws with the start of a duly authorised Metro Police ghost squad on the Nelson Mandela Bay roads,” said member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security John Best last Thursday.
“We took a lot of criticism but could not have this unit on the roads any sooner as it was crucial to follow due process.
“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) first had to approve the unit, which took months, and the officers were trained to operate the on-board cameras effectively to avoid legal loopholes for transgressors.
“Within three hours of starting, officers pulled over an overloaded taxi and the driver was charged for contravening Regulation 233 1 (b) of the National Road Traffic Act, which means he must now answer for his inconsiderate driving and overloading the vehicle.
When officers pulled the Toyota minibus over in the vicinity of Chase Drive and Ditchling Street, a total of 43 high school children were crammed into the taxi.
“This means the vehicle was overloaded with an unbelievable 27 children,” Best said.
The four ghost squad vehicles from the Metro Police is in addition to one covert vehicle from the Traffic Department, which brings the tally of unmarked vehicles to five.