JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Traffic law departments across South Africa who fail to make every effort to ease the effect of rolling electricity blackouts on traffic congestion, and traffic lawlessness, are failing road users in the towns and cities they serve.
The Automobile Association says traffic departments’ excuses of lack of resources ”cannot no longer be accepted”.
“The rolling Eskom blackouts,” the AA says, ”are a major blow to South Africa’s already embattled economy. An attempt to exclude peak-traffic periods from the blackouts has been a colossal failure with an enormous negative effect on traffic,” the AA says.
”Iraffic-law enforcers must step up, do their jobs, and provide service to road users to reduce the pressure.”
USELESS COPS – STAY CALM!
The AA has noted a growing number of complaints from its members about a lack of traffic control at major road junctions during blackouts so drivers use emergency lanes to skip blockages.
“We’ve consistently reminded road users to remain calm, to obey the rules of the road at all times, and to adjust their attitude. Traffic law enforcers seem to believe it’s business as usual when it is anything but!
”Erecting road blocks or traffic stops to check for expired licence discs to fuel revenue is not appropriate – traffic-law enforcement across the country needs to do better.”
Some measures suggested by the AA:
- Immediately suspend road blocks and traffic stops just for revenue collection.
- Redeploy all available traffic officers to major intersections and routes where congestion is known to be severe during blackouts – especially at peak times.
- Longer working hours for traffic officers when needed.
“The country’s fragile economy will be battered for 18 months of rolling blackouts without urgent measures.”
TRAFFIC FLOW VITAL TO ECONOMY
Drivers in South Africa, the AA insists, are struggling with the crisis while the ANC seems oblivious to the situation.
“There appears to be a general acceptance that the current road traffic chaos is nothing new, or unworthy of priority attention. We remind government that our country is vehicle-reliant so any threat to traffic flow will bring major negative consequences for the economy.”
- The Corner would question how many traffic cops are actually trained to stand in the middle of a junction to control traffic – and indeed how many drivers, particularly criminal minibus taxi thugs, wold take any notice of them anyway.