South African traffic officers will be issued with body cameras to help gather evidence and improve the conviction rate for traffic law violators.
Deputy Minister of Transport Dikeledi Magadzi says South Africa is ready to issue traffic officers with body cameras in the coming years.
“As the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) rolls out the use of body cameras... we aim to improve the levels of service and ensure that this is executed to serve and protect our road users,” she says.
The cameras will also act as a deterrent for corruption, effectively preventing officers from soliciting or accepting bribes from motorists.
“Every interaction a traffic law enforcement officer has with a motorist will be recorded. There will be nowhere to hide for those who live beyond their means and finance their lavish lifestyles through bribes, at the expense of the law abiding citizens on the roads.”
Deputy Minister Magadzi says traffic law enforcement has no place for unethical, greedy and corrupt officers.
Government is also strengthening law enforcement by investing in drones.
“These drones will assist to proactively identify hazards on the roads, and to identify motorists who are driving recklessly and at unacceptably high speeds.
“Officers will then be deployed strategically to respond, using the live intelligence supplied by this technology,” the Deputy Minister explains.
Discussions are underway with the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure that evidence gathered through the use of these drones is admissible and leads to a higher conviction rate.
Highlighting the importance of road safety, the Deputy Minister says most fatal crashes happen at night.
She encourages road users to avoid travelling at night and to observe curfew hours, to avoid the dangers that are mostly prevalent at night.
“Road safety is our collective responsibility. It is equally through collective effort that we can force a change in our behaviour on the road,” the Deputy Minister says.