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Tech boost to road safety

With new in-vehicle technology, traffic officers in the Overberg District will be working around the clock to help create safer, booze-free roads.

These motor vehicles are fitted with new patrol radios, “office in distress” activation, and a tracking system to perform a multitude of functions like live camera surveillance, automatic number plate recognition, and public transport operating licence monitoring.

This was the key message delivered at the Overberg District integrated traffic operational plan festive season launch held in Caledon on 11 December. The plan was presented by the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW), traffic officers from the Cape Agulhas, Theewaterskloof and Overstrand municipalities, and the South African Police Service Overberg Cluster.

The launch is part of the broader Overberg District Safety Plan (DSP). The DSP is an integrated enforcement, education, engineering and evaluation plan that incorporates all the elements that can contribute to road safety in the Caledon Traffic Centre operational area. The DSP aims to reduce overall fatalities by 33%, and child fatalities by 50%, by 2020.

Farrel Payne, DTPW Director: Traffic Law Enforcement, told the gathering festive season operations had already started in October.

“During this time, we found that passenger safety remains a concern, particularly vehicle occupants who fail to wear safety belts,” he said. “Another concern for us the is scourge of drinking and driving.

“We will be applying pressure by enforcing the law, and intensifying our operations to curb those who disregard road traffic laws on Overberg roads this festive season.”

Payne reminded those present that bribery is a serious criminal offence, both for a person offering a bribe, and a person accepting one.

His message to traffic officers was: “Arrest people who offer you a bribe, as this is an insult to your profession.” He added that motorists should report traffic officers who solicit bribes.

Christelle Vosloo, Mayor of Theewaterskloof Municipality, said joint traffic law enforcement operations between the DSP partners have yielded good results.

“Random Breath Testing (RBT) operations at identified hotspots continue to catch motorists by surprise,” she said. “Our plea to motorists in the Overberg is to help us create booze-free roads, and to drive responsibly on our roads.”

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