It has been revealed that taxpayers paid R88-million for a new fleet of cars for the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department. A report also alerted the taxpayers to the shocking treatment by police officials of their vehicles…
The Star newspaper provided a list of incidents involving EMPD cars between July 2008 and June 2009. During this time there have been incidents of officers shooting at their own petrol tanks, reversing into each other, stealing car parts, crashing into walls and driving into ditches.
In total, 225 incidents are recorded, of which 110 are attributed to officer negligence, 111 are said to be the fault of members of the public and four remain undetermined. Of the 225 incidents, more than half – 125 – involved vehicles from the new fleet. EMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said 130 cars had been damaged.
At least 39 crashes involved driving into ditches, crashing into stationery cars, bumping into barriers, canopies, walls, rocks, trees, gates, pavements, lamp posts, hitting pedestrians, parking badly, or reversing into other EMPD cars. The list details several serious head-on accidents and others caused by high-speed chases.
There was also relatively minor damage from accidents caused by skipping red robots, changing lanes or not allowing for enough following distance.
A spokesperson confirmed that the treatment of police vehicles has forced the department to admit it is time for officers to go back to advanced driving school. Most officers had undergone advanced driving training but were in need of refresher courses. Kgasago said that 15 instructors were being taught to be driving trainers at the EMPD academy.
Very few insurers would like to insure vehicles when exposed to these risks, and if they do – at a premium that would cost the taxpayers a significant amount of money!