SA: Home of sleeping policemen

2012-10-24 08:32

JOHANNESBURG - SA's traffic cops sleep from 10pm-6am, except in the Western Cape, Road Traffic Management Corporation acting CEO Collins Letsoalo has revealed.

"Our statistics show that most road crashes happen between 7pm and midnight, when our officers are not there," he said. "When we say let's remove the legacy and move to a 24-hour service, people say: 'Where is the money?' Most of the [traffic] authorities, even if they work at night, use a skeleton staff."


Letsoalo told a road-safety conference in Boksburg, near Johannesburg: "Which means, effectively, that from 10pm-6am there is no law enforcement on the road."

The provincial authorities, save for the Western Cape, worked only from 6am-10pm, which allows speeders and drunk drivers to operate between those times.

"Now we want a 24-hour service. The question that we must ask ourselves is, if it [accidents] cost the economy R307-billion a year, I'm sure there should be money to save that money through that process [increasing officers during the night]."

Letsoalo said the RTMC, nationally, had 17 000 officers, that 10 000 of them were based in Gauteng and that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) spent R14-billion a year in payouts.

"I'm sure that at some point it makes more sense to prevent what RAF is paying out. That is our view."

Letsoalo presented to delegates the country's strategy to reduce road fatalities by 20% a year and law enforcement topped the priorities.


A study conducted by the RTMC had shown that if the country increased its seat-bealt wearing to 70% road deaths would be reduced by 30% from the current official number of 14 000 a year.

Second on the strategy priorities was the fight against alcohol and driving. Letsoalo said: "Our problem is that there has been a low rate of conviction. It is less than 10%."

In the past year 13 000 people had been arrested on the roads, 3000 of them for "drunken driving".

"Only 300 of those will be convicted."

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  • quinton.delpeche - 2012-10-24 13:23

    Why don't we just merge Metro and SAPS and create one policing force that prosecutes crimes and traffic laws. It works in the United Kingdom and other First World countries ... why can't it work here? This would tackle three problems: 1). Lack of sufficient police men and woman, they will now be bolstered by the inclusion of Metro police. 2). More policing 24 hours a day as they would all work shifts. 3). Less administrative bodies and departments can be amalgamated and made more efficient. Come on ... I can't be the only one thinking this? Q

      peter.allderman - 2012-10-24 20:40

      The reason for not combining metro police and SAPS is because SAPS are under the control of a corrupt government. At least this way the metro police that are not under corrupt governance get to do some decent policing. Pity the honest SAPS members trying to provide a service to the public. Politicians get appointed to head the organisation and then drag its name through the mud.

      raath - 2012-10-25 09:22

      Metro Police are under the control of corrupt Metros.

  • john.omar.161 - 2012-10-24 14:22

    Regardless of whether our cops are alive or dead, WHY cabt we as drivers take responsibility for our survival....Being out on the road is actually a fight to survive....Taxis/ busses/ moms taxis/ articulated vehicles etc etc, all vying to "get there first".....utter madness.....LEarn from pics and videos of accidents as well as life saving tips...on the website wwwfatalmovesdotcom...could just save your life. fatalmovesdotcom...creating safer drivers

      giovanni.izar - 2012-11-12 13:29

      Something like Neighborhood watch)"Traffichood watch." In my neighborhood we will stop you and possibly have you arrested for various road crimes. We have done it and it works.

  • peter.allderman - 2012-10-24 20:12

    Interesting that the only place where law enforcement is taking place after hours is the Western Cape. Want good government where there is accountability and someone in charge who not only cares that the law is enforced but does something effective to achieve it? Vote for the same party that is ruling in the Western Cape.

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