Cape Town - Earlier in April, Road safety group, a road user shared photos of what appears to be a strange Tshwane metro police department car parked under a bridge on a highway near Pretoria.
Wheels24 reported it wasn't an actual police car but rather a cardboard cut-out of an official vehicle. The user indicated on his Facebook timeline that these boards were placed on the N4 before Rosslyn.
'Active traffic enforcement'
Isaac Mahamba, Tshwane Metro Police, confirms that the cut-out police car was part of a road safety initiative by the Bakwena road agency to curb speeding during the Easter period. The agency operates along the N1 and N4 in Tshwane, Bela-Bela, Rustenburg, and Zeerust.
Bakwena N1/N4 spokesperson Charmaine van Wyk says the organisation has embarked on a pilot COSBI (Control Of Speed by Illusion) campaign. The objectives of this campaign include:
• Reiterating various road safety messages along the N1/N4 route during the Easter period.
• Contributing to a positive change in motorists’ driving behavior to keep them alert and law abiding.
• Raising awareness of Bakwena’s commitment of zero tolerance for road offenders.
Van Wyk says: "We are observing the behaviour and feedback from road users and the public to these cut-outs, and based on this may decide to deploy a few more in strategic locations along the N1/N4 route.
"We hope that through this campaign we will assist to reshape driver behaviour to be positive, courteous to fellow road users and supportive of abiding by the rules of the road and reach the goal of zero fatalities."
Wheels24 asked department to share more details of its cut-out 'ghost car':
1. Why deploy a cut-out police car?
Van Wyk says: "Easter is one of the busiest periods along the N1/N4 route. We have in excess of 34 000 vehicles travelling in one direction over this period on the N1 to Polokwane. Speeding is one of the contributory factors that cause crashes as well as driver behaviour in general.
"We felt these cut-outs would be a contributory measure towards curbing speeding and lawlessness on the road. The cut out metro vehicles are placed along our route where actual metro police vehicles could be stationed.
"The cut-outs are to caution drivers to ensure that they are sticking to the speed limit and adhering to all the rules of the road. The Tshwane Metro Police will continue to have speed enforcement along the N1/N4
2. Do you think this is effective in curbing bad road behaviour?
"Yes", says Van Wyk. "We have received a massive number of positive comments on social media which indicate that road users are actually slowing down to check their speed limit when they have had sight of the cut-out."
3. Do you think this could be used on other roads, cities or provinces?
"Yes.This concept has been used worldwide and is particularly popular in Australia."
4. What are the biggest issues facing SA road-law enforcement?
"Lack of respect for traffic wardens and the office they hold," says Van Wyk. "Traffic cops are not on the road to spoil your trip or delay your journey, but to ensure that you keep to the rules for the safety of yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the roads."
5. What are the biggest threats to road users along the N1/N4?
"The biggest threats to road users along any road is reckless driving, not obeying the rules of the road and lack of respect for the law," says Van Wyk. "Road users, both motorists and pedestrians, need to use common sense to ensure the safety of ALL."