Government will soon deploy about 250 new traffic officers nationally on the roads to bolster the number of traffic officers who will enforce the rules of the road, as well as protect and serve the nation.
“These are physically fit officers and we think they will play a critical role in ensuring safety on our roads. We have trained them on all aspects of road safety and we think that this cohort will make a decisive impact on road fatalities and road crashes,” Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said during an interview with SANews on Tuesday.
Depending on the operational requirements, the traffic officers will be deployed in areas of high need to assist in bringing down the number road accidents.
The key purpose of traffic officers is to ensure the safe and free flow of traffic, prevent road crashes and deaths on the roads. They ensure that all road users, including pedestrians, use roads in an orderly and safe manner.
[The addition of the 250 traffic officers will] increase the visibility of traffic officers on the road to ensure increased compliance from motorists. They will also ensure that as a country, we move forward to meet the target of reducing road fatalities by 50% by the year 2030,” Zwane said.
This cohort of traffic officers started training in 2019 on the ground-breaking three-year National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6, which is equivalent to a National Diploma.
“This is beyond the basic course that was offered to traffic officers before. Previously, they were given a NQF level 4, which is equivalent to a matric certificate. The course has a theoretical component and a practical component, with some of the modules accredited at institutions of higher education,” Zwane said.
Traffic officers spend most of their working hours outdoors on the roads. A small portion of their time is spent in courtrooms and offices doing administrative duties. They do their patrol duties mainly in motorcars and some on motorcycles and on foot.
“Their training has been intensive and went beyond basic traffic training to include aspects of road safety, anti-crime and cross-border legislation.
“They have also been thoroughly schooled on court procedures to produce a well-rounded traffic officer, who will be able to stand on his/her to assist in the prosecution of traffic matters in court,” Zwane said.
Due to the extent of training that the traffic officers received, they will have opportunities to grow their careers within the National Traffic Police.
“They will be able to execute tasks at different levels with many opportunities open to them to specialise if they wish to. They have been trained on professional ethics and anti-corruption. RTMC has an anti-corruption unit and if a vacancy is open, they can apply if they are keen on joining the unit. They will be able to do that because they have been trained on fighting corruption within the traffic sector,” Zwane said.
The process to recruit the next cohort is underway, as the process of short listing has commenced. An advertisement was issued last year inviting the public to apply for a career as a traffic officer.
Preparations for graduations are continuing while the logistics of the date for the pass out parade is being finalised.
Source: South African Government News Agency