The Police as well as the Department of Transport, Safety, Security and Liaison have made it clear that law enforcers in branded state vehicles are not allowed to exceed the speed limit or disobey traffic rules unless in an emergency.
Polokwane awakened to news of a horrific accident on Monday morning in which CJ Maja, attached to the Tactical Response Side (TRT) in Polokwane, was seriously injured after the vehicle he was driving collided first with a Fiat Uno and then another stationary vehicle on the N1 South/Grobler Street close to the Nelson Mandela traffic circle.
Allegations were made on the scene that Maja travelled at high speed in the 60 km/h zone at the time of the incident. Even colleagues expressed the opinion that the Ford Focus ST he was driving could not have been damaged in such a manner if Maja was sticking to the speed limit. It was further alleged that he was not on his way to an emergency and only about to clock in at the office.
Westenburg Police Spokesperson Mohlaka Mashiane was also on the scene and later confirmed the multi vehicle accident. “I, however, cannot comment on the allegations of speeding as it forms part of the investigation. A case of reckless and negligent driving was opened,” he said.
In yet another incident caused by alleged speeding, a provincial traffic officer lost control over a branded Toyota single cab bakkie and collided with a traffic light at the intersection of Landdros Maré Street extension and Vermikuliet Street on Saturday.
“He was speeding and could not make the turn, lost control and plunged into the traffic light. He was not even wearing an uniform,” an eyewitness said.
“Unless it is an emergency in which Police are responding to any kind of emergency such as a crime scene or accident, they are to adhere to all laws and rules of the road. If they are in pursued or on their way to an emergency, the vehicle’s blue lights and siren must be switched on.”
“Even then the driver should take extra cautionary steps whenever he is entering an intersection or in any other situation on the road which may cause a hazard to other road users,” Provincial Police Spokesperson Ronel Otto said. She confirmed that a case of reckless and negligent driving was being investigated.
Transport Spokesperson Kagiso Mootane could not confirm the accident of the traffic official but also emphasised that traffic officials are never to abuse the law of the road unless in an emergency.
In the meantime at least one person was injured also on Monday morning when two vehicles collided in Potgieter Avenue.