All you need to know about becoming a traffic officer

Traffic EnforcementTRAFFIC OFFICER’S CAREER INFORMATION

1. WHY IS THE CAREER OF TRAFFIC OFFICER’S SO IMPORTANT?

Traffic Officer’s enforce the road rules and signs.  They ensure that all road users including pedestrians use our roads in an orderly and safe manner.  The main purpose of Traffic Officer’s is to ensure the safe and free flow of traffic to prevent road crashes and deaths on our roads.

2. WHAT DOES ONE DO IN THIS CAREER?

A distinction is made between Provincial Traffic Officers and Municipal Traffic Officers. Provincial Traffic Officers perform their duties within the boundaries of Provinces and Municipal Traffic Officers perform their duties 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 rules of the road.

3. WHAT WILL THE WORKPLACE BE LIKE?

Provincial Inspectors and Traffic Officers spent most of their working hours outdoors on the roads. A small portion of their time is spent in courtrooms and offices doing administrative duties. They do their patrol duties mainly in motorcars and some on motorcycles and on foot.

4. WHAT INSTRUMENTS, TOOLS OR MATERIALS WILL ONE WORK WITH?

Speed-measuring apparatus, alcohol test apparatus, measuring tapes, mass-measuring apparatus, summons books, infringement notices etc.

5. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS OF THIS CAREER?

  • Advantages:    Working with people and helping them to obey traffic rules, assisting to reduce the number of road crashes and thus saving lives.
  • Drawbacks:     Be able to work with people with various personalities, having to work during holidays and weekends.  Performing duties in all weather conditions.

6. HOW DO I BECOME A TRAFFIC OFFICER?

You first need to be employed by Provincial Government, Municipality or Government Agency such as the Road Traffic Management Corporation or Cross Border Road Transport Agency. Vacant posts are advertised by these Authorities in the Open Media.

You therefore need to check your local and national newspapers on a regular basis.  You may also contact any Local or Provincial Authority directly to enquire whether vacancies exist and when posts will be advertised.

7. WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A TRAFFIC OFFICER?

  • South African Citizenship
  • Grade 12 or equivalent
  • No criminal record
  • Code B driving Licence ( manual transmission)
  • Medical Certificate – that a person may do strenuous exercises.
  • Applicants shall not be older than 35 years of age

8.WHERE DO I TRAIN AS A TRAFFIC OFFICER?

Once you are employed as a Traffic Officer / Traffic Trainee you will be sent to one of the 12 Traffic Colleges approved by the Minister of Transport.  Only the following Traffic Colleges and Metro Police Academies may currently train Traffic Officers in South Africa.

Becoming a traffic officer

9. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A METRO POLICE OFFICER AND A TRAFFIC OFFICER?

Metro Police Officers are trained as Traffic Officers and on certain functions of Police Officers.  Before you can become a Metro Police Officer you must be trained and registered as a Traffic Officer.  In addition to all their duties as Traffic Officers; Metro Police Officers also focus on crime prevention and the enforcement of Municipal by-laws.

10. CAN I STILL TRAIN ON MY OWN AS A TRAFFIC OFFICER EVEN IF I AM NOT EMPLOYED?

No, however, you can study Traffic Management related courses at various FET Colleges or Universities.  These courses give you an advantage should Authorities advertise Traffic Officers posts.

For an update view: A New Approach to the Training of Traffic Officers

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