ALERT: A speed trap over the M1 freeway in Parktown. Picture: Mike Dibetsoe/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - High-visibility traffic officers, marked vehicles and mobile testing stations will be enforcing the rules of the road this festive season as authorities plan to move away from the 'hide in the bushes' approach.

This as Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi admitted that the practice of officers hiding to catch speeding motorists was counter-productive.

Maswanganyi said, “The common practice of hiding officers or vehicles to apprehend traffic offenders is counter-productive and antagonises citizens that are normally law-abiding. The challenging situation we are faced with calls upon us to make a fundamental shift and start doing (things) differently this year.”

Traffic officers will be coming out of the bushes and cracking down on those committing traffic violations.

Automobile Association (AA) spokesperson Layton Beard said there was nothing preventing traffic officers from hiding themselves, but said the AA believes in more visible policing.

“It is not an effective way. The problem you may find is that they speed and they are not stopped immediately and they will just carry on their journey.”

The Justice Project South Africa’s chairperson, Howard Dembovsky said that hidden cameras and speed traps were not proven to reduce road crashes.

“The only time that any progress will be made in reducing the catastrophically high road death and injury rate in South Africa will be when traffic law enforcement authorities start enforcing all road traffic laws in a visible, ethical and consistent manner.”

Cape Argus