Stay on the right side of the law at road­blocks

Daily News - - NEWS - SE-ANNE RALL

PEO­PLE caught post­ing warn­ings about city road­blocks on so­cial me­dia will be ar­rested and charged with de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice.

And if you are stopped at a road­block, you are al­lowed to ask the po­lice of­fi­cer why they are hold­ing the road­block.

How­ever, re­fus­ing to show your driv­ing li­cence to the of­fi­cer may get you in hot wa­ter.

This is ac­cord­ing to Steve Mid­dle­ton, act­ing head of metro po­lice, who was com­ment­ing about road­blocks be­ing set up in the city.

He said if mo­torists felt un­com­fort­able at any point dur­ing a road­block, they could ask for as­sis­tance from an­other po­lice­man or re­quest to speak to the of­fi­cer in charge of the op­er­a­tion.

Last month, Mayor Zandile Gumede launched Op­er­a­tion Khu­cu­lul’iTheku, a city­wide clean-up project. This sought to tackle prob­lems of crime and grime within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Mid­dle­ton said the road­blocks and stop-and-searches were be­ing run in con­junc­tion with the clean-up.

Since last month, 405 driv­ers have been ar­rested for drunk driv­ing. Al­most 11 000 more were nabbed for flout­ing city by-laws, while more than 44 500 peo­ple were ar­rested for var­i­ous other traf­fic of­fences.

“Op­er­a­tions ef­fec­tively started on Oc­to­ber 6 and have been on­go­ing. This is be­cause driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol or drugs is a cause for con­cern. This re­sults in in­creased col­li­sions, fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries, thus the ex­e­cu­tion of crime-com­bat­ing op­er­a­tions for Op­er­a­tion Back to Ba­sics Safer Fes­tive Sea­son com­menced to ad­dress road safety,” Mid­dle­ton said.

He said road­blocks were sup­posed to be set up in a safe and ef­fi­cient man­ner.

“Pro­vi­sion will be made to min­imise de­lays to road traf­fic; how­ever the ob­jec­tive of the road­block will not be com­pro­mised,” Mid­dle­ton said.

He en­cour­aged the pub­lic to be com­pli­ant with po­lice of­fi­cers at a road­block.

“Driv­ers are al­lowed to ask about the pur­pose of the road­block. The road­block au­thor­ity al­lows the of­fi­cer to re­quest to search the ve­hi­cle in the pres­ence of the driver. When asked for their li­cence card, a driver can­not refuse to dis­play it,” Mid­dle­ton said.

The sup­port of the pub­lic was al­ways needed at road­blocks, but Mid­dle­ton said those who took to so­cial me­dia to tip off their friends about the lo­ca­tion of road­blocks would be charged.

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