New handheld technology to bolster traffic enforcement over the festive season

By Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works:

Brand new hand-held devices have now been deployed by the Department of Transport and Public Works to assist Provincial Traffic Officers over this festive season. These hand-held devices (pictures attached) will be used by traffic officers in the field, as a fast, information-verifying tool that will assist enforcement.

These devices have been entirely developed and tested over the past two years by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, and will be in operation across the Western Cape; a first of its kind in South Africa.

The devices allow traffic officers real-time access to the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera system, which is linked to the eNaTIS database where all vehicle and driver information is stored.

How it works

  • The cameras ‘read’ the number plate of a passing vehicle, immediately relaying details of that vehicle’s make, class, registration status (outstanding licence fees), roadworthy status, offences, warrants, and ownership to a central back office.
  • This information can then immediately be relayed back to traffic officers in the field, positioned close to the ANPR, allowing them to stop a vehicle that has been flagged by the device for having offences attached to it.
  • The device also allows traffic officers to scan and read vehicle licence discs and drivers licences to verify their authenticity, as well as to pull information relating to past offences and possible warrants of arrest.

This is all made possible by a 3G link within the hand held device, that allows it to plug into the information system.

Provincial traffic officers have also undergone training to allow them to make effective use of this device, which has a user-friendly interface, and which has undergone extensive testing before being rolled out.

This system will also serve as an information gathering tool for our traffic management component, assisting us to plan resource deployment better in areas where it is needed most.

We are constantly reviewing our strategies when it comes to traffic law enforcement and best road safety practice. We will continue to employ innovation and technology in making our roads safer for the many that use them. We call on all road users to work with us over the festive season in improving safety on our roads, and ultimately saving lives. This period is supposed to be a joyous time spent with family and friends. Do not let reckless and irresponsible behaviour cast a deadly cloud over festivities.

Minister Grant, Chief Africa, and a traffic officer with the new hand-held device

Minister Grant, Chief Africa, and a traffic officer with the new hand-held device

Traffic officer scanning the vehicle registration disc with the new hand held device

Traffic officer scanning the vehicle registration disc with the new hand held device