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2013-09-26 08:09

COURTING TROUBLE: Scenes such as this could become common for holidaymakers if the state sets up roadside traffic courts on major routes. Image: SAPA

Johannesburg - A new way to prosecute motorists swiftly for breaking traffic laws is being considered, the Road Traffic Management Corporation said on Wednesday (Sept 25).

"We would like to have mobile courts on the roads to ensure prosecution for various transgressions," said acting CEO Gilberto Martins. The courts would not be an everyday thing but would be focused on special operations such as the December holidays on five of the country's major routes."

"They should be in place to deal aggressively with those who transgress the law excessively," he said. Some cases would be easier to settle while difficult ones would be referred to regional courts."


He added: "If a person pleads guilty it's done and settled. If they plead not guilty, it becomes another legal issue," he added, "but it's more important to deal aggressively with people who transgress the laws to limits that are unacceptable."

Martins briefed reporters on a plan to curb road accidents. It would focus on public transport - 80% of the population depended on it - and heavy trucks.

"It must be agreed that this will be a national roll-out of public transport enforcement and the approach must be professional but vigorous, extensive and decisive, along identified hazardous locations," he said. The intention was to reduce the number of accidents, create a heightened awareness of road traffic safety, and increase the detection and prosecution of critical traffic offenders.

For the plan to be effective, however, traffic officers had to be on the roads. "We need to ensure that traffic enforcement is visible. The only way to detect if a car is roadworthy is by physically inspecting it," he said.


Martins said more officers would be deployed at road blocks to check vehicle. "We want to have 70% of officers stationed at road blocks to check defects while 30% will be roving checkers," he said.

Martins invited the public to get involved in the fight to reduce accidents and to report bad driving.

Wheels24 says: Why is there always this burst of activity at holiday-time? Adequate traffic monitoring should be in place every day of the year, everywhere. It the state can get cops on the tar once, it can do it all the time. And, hey, at last somebody is listening to the simple idea of getting cops in cars and not gardening in the roadside bush.

If road collisions and deaths cost the state R300-billion a year, why not spend it up front on traffic policing and stop the bloody carnage in the first place? Duh!

Read more on:    road safety

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