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Body cameras for traffic officers met with mixed reactions

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The Department of Transport says it will soon issue officers with body cameras to ensure the safety of both law enforcers and members of the public.

However, the initiative has been met with mixed reactions amongst law enforcement officers and members of the public, while a majority of the officers that spoke to the SABC welcomed it.

On the other hand, some members of the public have little faith in the implementation of the technology.

Already in use in countries such as the US and the UK, the Department of Transport is adamant that the body cameras will help them clamp down on corruption and ensure the safety of officers.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Spokesperson Simon Zwane says, “They are part of our effort to introduce the latest technology in traffic policing to assist in obtaining evidence and improving conviction rates.”

The initiative was announced at the launch of the Easter festive season safety campaign. The Department of Transport says the cameras will be a useful tool in dealing with the high levels of bribery incidents by providing a factual account of events.

The Department of Transport says the use of e-enforcement will not only bring about much-needed relief to the fraternity but will also enhance road safety for all road users especially motorists.

Zwane says footage will be permissible in court.

He says, “We will be able to use the information in court and it will also help to improve law enforcement.”

But, some motorists are unsure if this is going to work.

One road user said, “This is South Africa, those body cams will only work when there are TV cameras, once the media is gone everything will go off… This is not going to work, it’s just another tender for comrades to make millions.”

The RTMC is unsure as to how much the project is going to cost. However, they anticipate being done with the rollout in the next five years.

Source: SABC

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