TRAFFIC HERO OR VILLAINESS? This Joburg metro officer was filmed by a driver after he was pulled over for allegedly skipping a red robot. Who handled the situation better? Image:YouTube
Johannesburg - Earlier in September, driver Clive Naidoo uploaded a video of a Johannesburg Metro Police officer who pulled him over.
Naidoo said he was mistreated by the officer and said that he was first assisted by a "polite" policewoman before a second officer barged in and said: "You got four eyes, can’t you see you shot the robot?"
The viral traffic video highlights the animosity that exists between road users and the police.
We asked readers 'how do you feel about traffic officers?' and a News24 poll garnered 18 129 votes:
• Most are courteous and professional - 1451 votes
• They're a necessary evil - 1234 votes
• A few bad officers ruin it for the rest - 6133 votes
• The majority are corrupt - 9311 votes
Most users believed the majority of traffic officers are corrupt (9311) while 6133 believed a few bad officers are to blame for SAPS' poor reputation.
Only 1451 believe SA traffic officers to be 'courteous and professional' and even fewer (1234) said traffic officers are a necessary evil.
Justice Project South Africa responds:
The latest video to go viral on social media, this time depicting the interactions between a motorist accused of committing a traffic infringement and the Metro Policewoman who took him to task is a perfect example of how things should not be done. It clearly demonstrates the unnecessary animosity which exists between road users and Metro Police and vice versa.
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Naidoo was disrespectful and rude to the Metro Policewoman from the outset and, instead of acting in a professional manner, the Metro Policewoman decided to retaliate by not only belittling him, but by going further to make racist remarks towards him. To her credit, she did not get violent with him when he started recording the video as is often the case with Metro and other police.
Insulting and impertinent
Drivers need to come to realise that when they are stopped for allegedly committing a road traffic infringement, it is pointless to enter into an argument with the law enforcement officer. The roadside is not a court and a Metro/traffic officer is not a Magistrate, Judge or AARTO Representations Officer. If a motorist feels that they have been unfairly or falsely accused, there are formal channels in place for this to be addressed.
Furthermore, turning around to a Metro Police officer and saying “I pay your salary. I pay tax” is completely unnecessary, insulting and impertinent. Metro Police officers also pay tax and get no special treatment in this regard.
This does not however excuse the grossly unprofessional manner in which the Metro Policewoman in question acted and how she repeatedly goaded Naidoo.
Firstly, she was quite clearly not wearing a name badge above her left breast pocket as is prescribed by Section 3(A)(7) of National Road Traffic Act and albeit that she was wearing a jersey at the time, such name tag must be completely visible and easily legible at all times.
Watch the clip here:
'No right to belittle anyone'
Secondly, engaging in a debate as to whom pays whose salary is not only ridiculous but pointless and lastly, no Metro Police Officer has the right to belittle anyone, nor do they have the right to engage in sarcastic and racist statements.
The Metro Policewoman can be heard making such statements as “He’s paying our salaries but he’s still staying in Bloubosrand where there’s too much blacks and thieves” and “Indians and blacks, we are the same. So them, sometimes they think they are white and they are not. Black as us. Because they speak English. That’s why he is staying in Bloubosrand, because if he’s white he would stay in Sandton”.
Had the Metro Policewoman, instead of engaging in this ridiculous egotistical farce, simply adopted a professional approach, she may have noticed that Naidoo had displayed his licence disc on the top left corner of his windscreen instead of the bottom left as is prescribed by regulation 36(1)(a) of the National Road Traffic Regulations and that he had a large crack in his windscreen, both of which would have given her the opportunity to cite him for additional infringements she would have had no trouble proving.
At the very least, both individuals owe one another a public apology.