Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Police need to target dangerous drivers

Published:Saturday | May 11, 2019 | 12:19 AM


Thanks to your writer Jaristotle for drawing attention to the ‘Hocus-Pocus Traffic Tickets’ in the ‘Jottings’ of Thursday, May 9, 2019. To recap: “The police are boasting about the double-digit increase in the number of traffic tickets issued since the start of the year…but does it equate to road fatalities, accidents and instances of dangerous and reckless driving seeing double-digit reductions as well? Hell, no!

“The ultimate measure of success in policing our roads is the degree to which accidents and recklessness are reduced, not how many tickets are issued” … as the number of road traffic accidents has increased under the pending new Traffic Act, which “suggests that the police’s income-generating ticketing strategy is woefully off target”. That is, the offences for which the high volume of tickets were issued may not match with the causes of most accidents.

It is increasingly evident that the hope that increased fines would deter reckless drivers may not succeed. Improved surveillance of dangerous drivers and their apprehension by the police is urgently needed. Complicit in the failure are the authorities who set traffic regulations that drivers do not respect, often for good reason. These regulations also ‘misguide’ the attention of the police away from those who cause most accidents.

The police need to target dangerous drivers. That’s much more difficult than using a radar gun to pick off drivers doing 65-70 km/hr on a dual carriageway or open highway with a questionable 50 km/hr speed limit. It would be very interesting to learn the breakdown of offences for which the police issued so many traffic tickets.