JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Police and soldiers are likely to continue their presence at Covid roadblocks for some time to come despite the latest step down to Level 3 so drivers might reasonably expect further physical behaviour from the two forces.
Most will probably continue to be civil to the people – you and I who pay their salaries and wages – but it’s likely there will still be unpleasant highway incidents.
MasterDrive’s MD Eugene Herbert, however, believes most will be civilised and simply get on with doing their jobs.
Herbert says if you encounter a roadblock during this time do your part to ensure officers can do their job with as little hassle as possible.
“If you need to go grocery shopping SHOPthen go to the shop closest to you and minimise your time on the road. If you are stopped simply explain what you’re doing – don’t immediately become confrontational.
“If you’re travelling to work make sure your employer has provided you with a Form 2 permit and keep it in your car at all times. Don’t abuse the permits to do things that you shouldn’t and make sure you follow other rules set out for travel: limit car occupants to two (one in the rear), wear a face mask if you didn’t isolate with your passenger, or if an officer approaches your car.”
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Unfortunately, he also points out, social media abounds with videos of people who appeared to be being ill-treated by police or soldiers.
“In some instances the video will show one side of the confrontation.
“However, if you’re immediately confrontational or annoyed the chance of it ending badly are higher. Just like any other person, these officials are simply doing their job. Provide information and documentation quickly and efficiently and the interaction will be over quickly.
”Certain responses will inevitably elicit certain reactions.”
However, Herbert did tell The Corner: ”’There are certain things you can do to safeguard yourself without conflict. You are within your rights to request identification from the officer. You are also within your rights to video the interaction but rather just keep your camera or cellphone handy in case things go bad.
“If you feel threatened or discriminated against you can call 10111. Do not lose your temper and remain calm and comply with the officer, even if you feel you are being treated unfairly.
”You can lodge a complaint with the IPID at a later stage but you could be arrested if you’re aggressive – rather raise the issue later through formal channels.”