The use of technology will play a huge role in keeping the Western Cape’s roads safer this festive season and habitual offenders, in particular, have been cautioned by the transport department.
Launching its festive season traffic plan, the department has handed over 37 vehicles fitted with onboard front and rear cameras which will assist traffic officials in identifying the top 500 habitual traffic offenders.
86 new traffic officers, who have graduated on Monday, will report for duty across the province this week.
There will be no festive season holiday for these new officers, after completing a grueling year of training amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only 87 out of over 30 000 applicants were successfully inducted into the training programme.
Today, 86 of them graduated, while another, who has since contracted COVID-19 will complete the course next year.
Graduate Le-urtis Luke says, “As a young kid, I always looked up to the traffic officers how neatly they present themselves. I’ve always told myself I’m going to be part of a team that presents themselves so well and for me today to become part of such a huge family, keeping the roads safe, it’s an honour.”
Graduate Orietta Madyibi says, “It was a dream through my aunt was a police officer but now she retired so every day when I see her waking up every single day wearing that uniform, making the change, it was always my dream that one day I would become a traffic officer.”
The department says the students have all been trained on how to use the technology which includes the in-vehicle cameras, Average Speed Over Distance, and digital hand-held devices in order to ensure safer roads.
Focus areas include fatigue management, moving violations, speed and awareness operations.
Western Cape Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell says, ” The 37 vehicles that we handed over today with the 86 graduates that will be deployed to our traffic centres is exactly that as the Western Cape government, we take the safety and priority of every commuter on our roads very seriously, and their safety comes first.”
Western Cape festive season safety plan: Daylin Mitchell:
So we have as a department stepped up to ensure that we set technology to make sure that those that are not supposed to be on our roads, will not be on the roads and we will go and find you.”
A total of 1 108 fatalities occurred on the province’s roads in 2020, with 132 deaths over the previous festive season reporting period.
The department says it will adopt a no-tolerance approach, as one road death is one too many.