Mayco member JP Smith responds to photo of Cape Town traffic vehicle concealed

Photos of a traffic officer parked on a cycle lane out of view while manning a speed camera, which itself is not highly visible, is being shared on social media - but is it legal?

Kieno Kammies speaks to Alderman JP Smith, the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security for the City of Cape Town.

The current policy prohibits speed cameras being hidden from motorists' sight. Traffic enforcement policy says officers operating speed cameras must be close to the side of the road with a clearly visible vehicle. Traffic officers are prohibited from using concealed netting and other deceptive tactics.

Read: We don't hide or disguise speed cameras - CoCT

Smith acknowledges that the City of Cape Town portfolio committee debated the matter of hidden or visible cameras at length.

He was instrumental in introducing the policy around 2006. It was reviewed again on 2018 and the committee agreed it still wanted the 'visible deterrent enforcement.'

But one should never be speeding. We should always be driving as if there is a camera visible on the side of the road.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

Smith says when the issue of traffic vehicles and officers was raised, traffic officers replied that the policy enforces visible cameras, but says nothing about visible traffic officers and vehicles.

I can tell you the answer will be there is nowhere to safely park the traffic vehicle off the street except other than where it is parked, and there is nowhere to put the camera where it won't be crashed into except behind the barrier.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

I will raise it with the portfolio committee....whether to rewrite the policy to include the officer and the vehicle being visible.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

Though there are times it is unavoidable, he agrees there are occasions where it seems the vehicle is deliberately being concealed, and he plans to discuss the matter.

Listen to the interview below:


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