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Blue-lighters: Readers respond

2013-06-25 08:46

AN END TO BLUE LIGHT BULLIES: New regulations could mean imprisonment for VIPs who abuse blue-lights “privileges”. Wheels24 thanks all of our readers who responded.Image: SAPA

Wheels24 earlier this week reported on draft regulations intended to restrict, in the Western Cape at least, the “Use of Lamps Emitting a Blue Light and the Use of Sirens”.

Blue lights, the draft regulations say, may only be used in an emergency or if the VIP or other panjandrum being chauffeured is in danger.

‘CAN’T ALL BE IN DANGER’


Western Cape minister of transport and public works Robin Carlisle said: "We've seen the abuse of blue-light vehicles by said office-bearers and VIP's in the past, tantamount to disregard for the rule of law and a threat to the safety of other road users."

Wheels24 received several emails from readers, unanimously calling for an end to South Africa's infamous blue-light brigade (BLB).

Mapitsi Monyela said: “These VIPs are annoying; they need to be taught about the importance of the blue lights, they seem to think the purpose is to avoid traffic, while all taxpayers are stuck on traffic. Their lives can't all be in danger.”

Peter Pretorius praised the new regulations: “It will be the first time any notice is taken of any comment made by a member of the public. As said, the BLB should only be used in dire emergencies and this must be proven beyond reasonable doubt even after the fact!”

Reader Nic said: “That is excellent that this is being stopped. Drivers of  BLB cars are forcing other road users out of the way and are a real danger to other road users."

In the past we've seen blue-light cars show total disdain for the law while their driving is a threat to the safety of other road users.

Louise Snyman: "I would just like to say that I am extremely happy that something is at last going to be done about these blue-light cowboy idiots. 

“I cannot tell you how many times I have seen one of them speeding through a red light, narrowly missing another car legally crossing the intersection, or when the traffic is heavy, set their alarm on and forcing people to make way for them and as soon as they are clear the siren goes silent.”


A TIME-MANAGEMENT ISSUE?

Readers suggested that perhaps VIP's could “wake up a bit earlier” in order to reach their destinations on time.

Mike Morgan-Evens: “Thank you for your efforts thus far. We are all tired of these belligerent idiots who believe they can shove other law abiding citizens off the roads (for which they pay taxes to utilise). Maybe they can get up a little earlier in order to reach their destination on time, like the rest of us who work for a living.”

Nkosana Zwane said: "This has been long overdue and now is the time to stop it. No wonder why this country is very slow at providing things like service delivery. It’s because we have incompetent people who can't even plan their meetings. You find them speeding on the roads endangering other drivers because they’re running late.

“The use of blue lights is always excused for VIPs being late for meetings all the time, can't they just be professional and plan their meetings accordingly?

“This is really endangering our lives on the road, and sometimes wonder if it’s a VIPs or not. This makes it easy for anyone to abuse BLB. This regulation should be implemented nationwide, we’re sick and tired of these unprofessional bullies who can't manage their diaries!”


‘THUGS CAN TARGET MINISTERS’

However Wheels24 reader Simon Chiwai believed ministers should be protected on the road and that they could be in danger if the new regulations come into effect.

Chihwai siad: “I think this not good since the VIP should be safe and sometimes they will be in hurry for emergency meeting. Also the thugs can target ministers or the president on the road. The only thing you should introduce is to have more punishment to the public transport cause they do not respect the blue light.”

Mari Craythorne said:
“Suggestion for the punishment - let them do community work! Especially in soup kitchens.”

OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

The regulations are open for public comment for a period of 30 days. Make sure you make your views known...

Members of the public can email their submissions or post them to:

Head of the department
Attention: Malcolm Watters
Western Cape department of transport and public works
Box 2603
CAPE TOWN
8000
 
...or fax comments to 021 483 2166

Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24 as well - but if you have time enough to write to us, then make time to make your views official by doing the above.
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