Traffic police or traffic officers, often referred to colloquially as traffic cops, are police officers who direct traffic or serve in traffic or roads policing unit enforcing rules of the road. Traffic police include officers who patrol major roads and also police who address traffic infractions on other roads.
Traffic police, who are regarded as peripheral to most police forces, participate in both authoritative intervention and symbolic justice. Perhaps alone of all the assignments, traffic police are full-service police. They are different from the rest, however, because their work is limited to a particular venue – namely, public thoroughfares – and to particular people – namely, those who operate motor vehicles. However, in terms of work, traffic police are detectives as well as patrol officers.
Traffic officers enforce the road rules and signs. They ensure a safe passage in traffic and that all road users, including pedestrians, use roads in an orderly and safe manner. The main purpose of traffic officers is to ensure the safe and free flow of traffic to prevent road crashes and deaths on the roads.
There is a distinction between provincial traffic officers and municipal traffic officers. Provincial traffic officers perform their duties within the boundaries of provinces, while municipal traffic officers perform theirs within the boundaries of municipalities.
Provincial traffic officers are also known as provincial inspectors. They enforce compliance of the National Road Traffic Act, National Land Transport Act and Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act. They control traffic, inspect vehicles for roadworthiness, and enforce road traffic signs and the rules of the road.
Provincial inspectors and traffic officers spend most of their working hours outdoors on the road. A small portion of their time is spent in courtrooms and offices doing administrative duties. They perform their patrol duties mainly in motorcars, although some of their duties are performed on motorcycles or on foot.
If being a traffic officer is what you desire, you should consider joining a traffic officer training program as soon as possible. For those who are South African citizens and reside somewhere in Western Cape, there is an opportunity for you to join the Traffic Officer Training program which is the Western Cape Government’s initiation through the Gene Louw Traffic College. In this program, you will be trained to become professional traffic officers.
Read on to see the details!
About Gene Louw Traffic College
Officially opened on September 15, 1989, the Gene Louw Traffic College is a South African governmental project initiated by the Western Cape Government and is run by the Department of Transport and Public Works in Western Cape. Located in Brackenfell, Cape Town, Gene Louw Traffic College offers training programs in road traffic law enforcement for Traffic Officers (TO), Examiner for Driving Licenses (EDL), Examiner of Vehicles (EOV) and a number of various other short courses.
Since its establishment, Gene Louw Traffic College has been providing training programs for traffic officers, municipal police officers, examiners of vehicles and examiners for driving licenses throughout the Western Cape, South Africa and other parts of southern Africa (e.g. Botswana).
In November 2013, Gene Louw Traffic College was awarded the Certificate of Excellence as the Best Traffic Training Center nationally at the Road Traffic Management Corporation conference in East London. gene Louw Traffic College staff members were also named national winners in the following categories:
- Best Education and Training Development Practitioner
- Most Innovative Idea
- Most Promising New Facilitator
- Going the Extra Mile
Gene Louw Traffic College aims to encourage a culture of lifelong learning and enrich lives by creating an open society for all. The College is committed to acknowledging and respecting the diversity of, and have compassion for one another, displaying integrity, being approachable and transparent. It aims to be self-disciplined and cultivate passion and innovation, resulting in a positive image. Its aspiration is to grow and develop to be recognized as an efficient and professional team providing service excellence.
Gene Louw Traffic College complies with the quality standards of the following training authorities and bodies:
- Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority
- South African Police Service
- Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority
- Road Traffic Management Corporation
Traffic Officer Training
Traffic Officer Training is an accredited qualification for traffic officers permanently employed by provincial of local authorities. The traffic officer will be awarded a Further Education and Training (FET) Certificate: Road Traffic Law Enforcement once the program is completed. The duration of the training program is one calendar year (12 months).
The course consists of 31 unit standards covering subjects on the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), the Criminal Procedure Act, and guidelines for road traffic law enforcement. All the things you will learn in the Traffic Officer Training are as below:
- Engage in sustained oral / signed communication and evaluate spoken / signed text.
- Represent, analyze and calculate shape and motion in 2 and 3 dimensional space in different contexts.
- Adhere to professional conduct and organizational ethics
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Firearms Control Act 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000) applicable to possessing a firearm.
- Handle and use a handgun.
- Handle and use a handgun for business purposes.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the legislative framework for road traffic law enforcement.
- Apply knowledge of road traffic legislation pertaining to traffic officers, road users and vehicles.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of anti-corruption issues in the Public Sector.
- Carry out basic first aid treatment in the workplace.
- Demonstrate physical defensive restraining techniques.
- Examine vehicle fitness at the roadside.
- Control traffic.
- Use traffic law enforcement equipment.
- Apply knowledge of legislation regarding dangerous goods and substances conveyed by road.
- Demonstrate knowledge pertaining to fires in working places.
- Apply knowledge of the National Land Transportation Transition Act.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences Act.
- Evaluate loads on vehicles.
- Isolate and secure a scene.
- Accommodate audience and context needs in oral / signed communication.
- Interpret and use information from texts.
- Use language and communication in occupational learning programs.
- Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems.
- Read / View, analyze and respond to a variety of texts.
- Use language and communication in occupational learning programs.
- Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues.
- Write / Present / Sign for a wide range of contexts.
- Assess and analyze an incident.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Land Transport Legal Framework.
To complete the course, the passing requirements include that learners must be found competent during the practical and theoretical assessments determined by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) policy guidelines.
Traffic Officer Training Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to join the Traffic Officer Training, candidates must meet all of the following admission requirements as mentioned below:
- Candidates must hold a Grade 12 certificate or equivalent NQF Level 4
- Candidates must be permanently employed at a provincial or local authority as a traffic officer
- Candidates must not have a criminal record (SAPS 365 fingerprints clearance required)
- Candidates must be medically, physically and mentally fit as well as competent to perform the applicable tasks and duties
- Candidates must hold a Code B driving license (manual transmission). Learner’s licenses will not be accepted.
- Candidates must not be older than 35 years of age
How to Apply for the Traffic Officer Training
Advertisements for the Traffic Officer Training are posted in newspapers and on the Western Cape Government website. There is no specific timeline or dates in a year that new Traffic Officer posts are to be advertised, it is dependent on the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works of the Western Cape Government.
Applications should be done online on the Western Cape Government website collectively. No applications from private individuals (persons) will be accepted. The Government uses an electronic system and does not accept faxed or posted applications. Do not apply directly to the Gene Louw Traffic College as it does not distribute application forms or handle any applications.
Provincial Traffic will place an advertisement for traffic officers. You won’t need a Traffic Officer qualification to apply, but you do need to be employed by either a local authority (municipality) or the provincial administration.
The Department will look at your application and curriculum vitae (CV) / resume, then they will inform you if your application was successful and invite you for further recruitment processes. If you are successful after the recruitment process, you will receive admission to the training for the Traffic Officer qualification.
Traffic Officer Training Fees
The Traffic Officer Training will charge you course fees at R 33,420.22 with a short course daily tariff of R 331.60 per learner per day. Course fees are subject to change annually as per Provincial Treasury regulations. No accommodation will be available at the College. Therefore, you must arrange your own accommodation for the entire period of training. Also, there is a cold drink vending machine on campus but no cafeteria. Thus, you should be aware to provide your own meals. There are shops close to the College where you can buy meals.
Contact for Inquiries
If you have any question regarding the Traffic Officer Training, or perhaps you would like to deliver a comment, you may contact one of the following numbers:
Tel: 021 983 1500
Fax: 021 982 4982 / 021 982 4477
Or send your inquiries via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to send a post to the following address:
Private Bag x5
Click here to visit the Traffic Officer Training web page and learn more about its application process.