Thursday, March 12, 2009

Operation Nomakanjani

This morning I was out with the Metro cops at dawn, ready to cover their traffic blitz on bad drivers in the CBD. And it was fantastic!
Normally the city centre is gridlocked in the early mornings as taxi drivers in particular take to viewing robots and road signs as nothing more than meaningless decor. It's beyond infuriating for law abiders who already have to contend with ongoing roadworks, numerous stolen manhole covers, potholes and those annoying cement ridges they're hammering into the lanes for the new transport system. Throw reckless drivers in on top of that and you have the perfect recipe for massive road rage or at least one stressed out Joburger going postal.
But at long last our dear traffic cops have seen the light and realised that they need to actually instill a bit of law and order on the city streets. And so we have Operation Nomakanjani or Operation No Matter What. Like the recent Operation Don't Smile, it's a tough crackdown that has the cops flexing their muscles and doing their jobs properly.
It was all very exciting as we hit the intersection near the Noord Street taxi rank just near Shell House. It's a notorious spot where mission-bound taxis generally ignore robots, drive on the wrong side of the road if they feel like it and pull illegal u-turns instead of entering the rank and turning around.
The cops were at the ready and we waited anxiously for the first offender. Some guy in a dented red Toyota Camry sailed through a red light. They flagged him down and he smiled, shook his head and continued on. Chief_Photographer and I gawked at the traffic cops who looked a bit sheepish as they shrugged their shoulders. We were outraged and demanded to know why they were such wimps.
And then shouts of excitement sounded. The first offender: a taxi driver across the intersection turning left from a right-turning only lane, barreling through a red light at the same time. As he was pulled over, calm as you please, he flashed a wad of cash at the cops as a bribe offering. No such luck! He got cuffed and taken to a waiting van and they impounded his taxi. Brilliant!
By 8am we had witnessed 20 arrests. One of them was a woman who, casual as you please, whipped through a red light. She looked annoyed and held her handbag over her face everytime we looked in her direction.
A pleasing morning indeed!


  1. If the the cops were vigilant all the time instead of just on particular days, these offenders wouldn't have such a casual attitude. And I have also seen police vehicles in no particular hurry also sailing through the red. No example at all.

  2. That's fantastic! Wish I was there to see it:)

    Let's just hope they keep this up and it isn't some sort of PR blitz!

  3. Ja well, we'll have to see. The cops maintain they will keep it up indefinitely, and I reckon they have to - what with 2010 coming up and all the rest. But we all know how our traffic cops are hey! I am not holding my breath!

  4. Ooh thats fucking awesome!!!