A large group of provincial traffic officers took part in a two-day Brake & Tyre Watch training day at the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell on 10 and 11 August 2016. Staff members working in the Transport and Administration and Licensing directorate of the Department of Transport and Public Works were also in attendance.
This FleetWatch magazine initiative is designed to raise awareness of the importance of regular maintenance of truck braking systems, tyres on trucks, lights and reflective items.
Experts shared their knowledge to assist participants to know when to intervene and take unroadworthy heavy vehicles off our roads. Traffic officers conducted roadside inspections and escorted trucks to the College’s modern vehicle testing facilities where experts could show them what to look out for when inspecting a truck. A number of vehicles inspected on the training days were suspended until they have been certified as roadworthy and owners have renewed their vehicle licences.
“We are happy to make our facilities available for events such as this to improve the knowledge of traffic officers when inspecting vehicles and, in this case, examiners of vehicles as well,” said Dieter Smit, Acting Head of the College.
“Though the National Road Traffic Act and South African national standards remain the guidelines for enforcement, the information shared during this training workshop provided officers with knowledge they can use to educate the general public and hauliers. We welcome any training for officers that assists us to achieve our ultimate goal of helping to ensure that our roads are safer,” added Smit.
Senior Provincial Inspector Nicky Matthuyse of Vredenburg Traffic Centre found the training worthwhile. “As an examiner of vehicles, I have been trained to undertake undercarriage inspections at a registered vehicle testing centre. Gaining knowledge from experts in brakes, tyres and trailers gave me a new perspective. I will use this knowledge and share it with my colleagues,” he said.
Provincial Inspector Sue-Allen Januarie of Caledon Traffic Centre says she learned a lot as she isn’t a qualified examiner of vehicles. “In my day-to-day job, we stop and conduct roadside checks on many heavy vehicles. These two days have exposed to me to things inspectors have to look out for when doing a routine check. At the end of the day, road safety is the priority,” she said.
It is the core function of the Collage to train traffic officers and keep them abreast of important developments. The Department encourages industry experts to continue to improve the knowledge of its officials so that they can better promote driver and motor vehicle safety.