A fleet of about 30 state-owned vehicles at Heidelberg police station are transgressing the law daily. The vehicles are being operated with expired licence discs and this is putting officers at risk of receiving traffic fines. Among the 30 affected vehicles, three belong to support services, 11 to detectives and 16 are marked vehicles performing visible policing.
Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said, according to road legislation, a police vehicle should have a proper licence disc to be on the road.
“The police are not exempt from paying vehicle licences. It is an offence to drive an unlicensed [police vehicle] on a public road and the person driving the car will receive a fine. Only the army and diplomatic cars are exempt,” Zwane added.
News24 has seen several vehicles whose licence discs expired in September 2019. According to a police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, the police station and management in Gauteng were aware of the situation. The source had escalated the matter to the provincial office. The police officer complained they were forced to drive the vehicles despite their complaints.
“What will happen to us should we be involved in an accident driving a vehicle without the right licence disc? We are putting our lives and career at risk,” he said. The officer added they were concerned there had been no response from provincial management.
“They are aware that we have a crisis here at Heidelberg police station. At times, we are ordered to perform roadblocks and inspect vehicles that are driving on our roads with legit discs while our licence discs have expired. We have been complaining to our station management who escalated the matter to the provincial office. We think that the person responsible for renewing all our licence discs is refusing to assist. The person is not doing us a favour by renewing those licence discs.
“All we want is to perform our duties using safe vehicles that are legally entitled to be on the road. Who will shoulder the blame if the vehicle is involved in an accident without a licence disc?” he asked.
Gauteng police were approached for comment, but to date have not yet responded.