Within a few months, traffic officials will no longer need to call in witnesses to help convict drag racers and other road offenders.
The City will be spending R8 million to place “dash cams” (video cameras) on Traffic Services’ patrol vehicles.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith this week complained after he and former transport MEC Donald Grant had to spend two hours in court, testifying against an alleged drag racer they caught red-handed in 2014.
Grant and Smith were on the scene during an operation along Klipfontein Road and Jan Smuts Avenue in Athlone, when they noticed a driver speeding and dicing in his blue Subaru.
The man – charged with reckless and negligent driving, and participating in an illegal race on a public road without permission – appeared in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court this week.
The driver is still in possession of his licence and vehicle.
Smith said: “The entire court proceedings was for the purpose of trying to establish the truth about whether the accused engaged in reckless and negligent driving, which could have been avoided if we had a dashboard camera in the Ghost Squad vehicle.”
He says immediately after court, he went to his office to make sure the R8 million for dash cams the City was going to take off the budget for next year, due to financial constraints, went back on.
“With the dash cams, even the number plate can be tested to see if it is false or a duplication, also a witness will not be needed because there will be the footage,” Smith said. He hopes the dash cams will be in operation by June.
Source – iol