Opinion

Crack the whip on rogue traffic officers

It is ironical how junior officers still disobey their seniors’ orders. The former Minister of Interior, Tito Acuil Madut during the launch of the unified number plates at Buluk South Sudan National Police Headquarters on 15th April 2016 said the traffic laws are going to be enforced and a data bank of the different types of vehicles in the country to be developed that will help maintain law and order and prevent crime by ensuring that there are no loopholes for scrupulous elements to penetrate and cause havoc in the country. Without unified data, we will not be able to manage crime.

The former Minister said collection of revenue will be unified and ordered the traffic police personnel not to collect money from any driver or motorbike rider in form of fines. Unlike in the past when there were incidences of police receiving bribes from drivers who had committed traffic offences, this time round the traffic police were directed to issue a receipt indicating the fine and the driver goes ahead to pay the fine in a designated account in the authorized bank.

The move was meant to safeguard the image of the police and ensure there is integrity and transparency. This was a good idea but it seems to have ceased to exist. If you take a look around Juba, traffic police have resorted to stopping vehicles and even before they tell the driver his or her offence, they begin writing a receipt.

This is a predicament I befell recently. I was ordered to stop by a traffic officer and when I did, he came rushing that I was over-speeding which was false. We argued for a while and when I realized I was getting late for work. I asked him to issue me with a receipt and the official government bank account number where I would go to pay my fine but he said there was no such system in place.

I paid a fine of 50 SSP and was issued with a receipt which clearly stated 40 SSP. I just looked at the officer with bitter eyes and drove off. To cut the long story short, the current Minister of Interior, Michael Chienjiek Geay should ensure that the earlier order comes into full effect. He should not let some of these so called traffic officers to steal from the public and the government. The fines paid by traffic offenders can be used to at least do some developmental projects such as establishing more water taps in the city.

We should not allow these officers to grow fat at the expense of the nation. Mr. Minister I urge you to crack the whip on these rogue officers.

 

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