The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works‘ (TPW) fight against the scourge of lawlessness on provincial roads and unnecessary deaths caused by crashes has been given new impetus.
Eight hundred and twenty traffic officers’ positions and 25 support staff positions were transferred on 1 April 2014 from the Provincial Department of Community Safety (DOCS) to TPW. The officers and support staff will be part of the TPW administration.
The programmes the officials implemented at DOCS will not change. Instead law enforcement, road safety education and awareness, and training and development opportunities for traffic officials will complement the road safety programmes of TPW that aim to reduce road deaths on our roads by 50% by the end of 2014.
The Head of TPW, Ms Jacqui Gooch says the addition of those professionally trained and dedicated law enforcers, will contribute significantly to achieving the departmental plan to have a safe and appropriately regulated vehicle and driver population, as well as decreasing road crash fatalities.
According to Ms Gooch, the following services will greatly complement TPW’s Safely Home campaign:
- Law enforcement.
- Driver education and training.
- Roadside communication at roadblocks.
- Developmental programmes such as high school debates.
- Educational techniques such as scholar patrols.
She said Safely Home focuses on the following:
- Keeping school children safe.
- Safer minibus and public transport.
- Technical programmes such as Average Speed Over Distance (Asod), pedestrian safety, child safety in vehicles.
- Vehicle and driver fitness.
“It is obvious the programmes and campaigns by our provincial traffic officials, and the Safely Home programmes and campaigns complement each other. This transfer is a strengthening of resources that we need to fight road deaths and bring them down”, Ms Gooch said.
She said the transfer would ensure more effective cooperation between TPW and its partners such as municipalities, the minibus taxi sector and those in the public transport industry.
The traffic officials will still be stationed at the 15 different traffic centres across the Province as well as the Gene Louw Training College in Brackenfell, Cape Town.