The re-branded provincial traffic highway patrol vehicles. Picture: Supplied
The re-branded provincial traffic highway patrol vehicles. Picture: Supplied

WATCH: City of Cape Town, province to step up policing on roads

By Mwangi Githahu and Marvin Charles Time of article published Oct 1, 2019

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Cape Town - Both the City and province announced plans to tighten policing of traffic on the roads, with the City explaining its new traffic by-law and the province releasing a raft of new innovations.

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela on Monday unveiled three components within provincial traffic services which have been brought up to date with the use of data-driven, technology-enabled methods.

Madikizela said: “These include a specialised Interception Unit to respond to potentially high-risk events; a highway patrol as an improved traffic service that is better able to pro-actively assist in addressing crime, and a revamped Public Transport Inspectorate to focus on public transport enforcement.”

The MEC also revealed his three flagship priority projects designed to respond to the province's ongoing transport and traffic challenges.

He said the projects would address key transport issues and support a safer, more inclusive province with a thriving economy.

The three priority projects are the Provincial Sustainable Transport Programme (PSTP), Transport Hub and Provincial Traffic Restructuring plan.

The Transport Hub will provide decision-makers with better data and integrated information, enabling real-time monitoring of road traffic, public transport and crime and enable the immediate deployment of law enforcement to revolutionise crime fighting. The first stages of this hub have already been implemented.

Explaining how the new technology would work, Kyle Reinecke, deputy director general for transport management, said the new highway patrol vehicles would be equipped with cameras. “The cameras will identify vehicles making infringements and send the data on to a screen in the highway patrol vehicle, enabling the officer to respond to the situation.” The data can be fed into hand-held devices kept by officers on highways if, for instance, there is a high-speed chase and a suspected car is being tracked across the city.

With an eye on the coming festive season, Madikezela said his department’s Random Breath Testing (RBT) teams would be working with their municipal traffic partners to target events and venues associated with alcohol consumption. “The RBT units will operate anywhere, at any time, and if you drink and drive, you will be caught, then tested...”

MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says as festive season approaches the department of transport and public works Random Breath Testing teams will target events and venues associated with alcohol consumption. Video: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

The City published its amended traffic by-law to deal with the powers and duties of authorised officials, equipment, vehicles, animals, driving while under the influence and the impoundments of vehicles and forfeitures to the City.

Public participation process on the new by-law will run from today until October 31.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: "We have been saying for years that there is very little to compel behavioural change. As things stand, a motorist arrested for drunk driving gets right back in the driver’s seat the next day and many of them reoffend, because there appears to be very few consequences. Impounding vehicles will likely make wrongdoers think twice, but more importantly, could potentially save lives.”

@TheCapeArgus

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Cape Argus

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