The government and its law enforcement agencies can not effectively solve or
address the problem of crime, including road traffic criminal acts, without the
active participation of the road users and the general public. To facilitate the
implementation of an effective road safety strategy, we need the involvement of
all the relevant stakeholders – motorists, taxi/bus owners and drivers, the
pedestrians, passengers, etc. Road Safety is everybody’s responsibility.
Countries who have a successful road safety record have a saying that road
safety is not what you do to people but what you do with people. To garner
this joint responsibility an easy to implement tool is required. The use of
telephony will enable all stakeholders to effectively take responsibility about
road safety issues.
Hence the Mpimpa Hotline. It is a vehicle to effectively drive active
stakeholder participation. The anonymity of the caller is guaranteed. Only
designated individuals have access to the recorded information. These
individuals must sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has run a campaign with the theme "Road
Safety is everybody’s responsibility 24/7/365" (24 hours, 7 days a
week, and 365 days a year – around the clock).
The objective was to make all road users aware that, at the end of the day
the responsibility to reduce the rate of road collisions should not be borne by
the Government alone. In fact what the authorities are trying to do with road
safety campaigns is to protect the road users from endangering their own lives.
The State spends enormous resources – traffic officers, education campaigns,
etc – to protect us from hurting and maiming ourselves.
In the United Kingdom a similar approach to highlighting where the
responsibility lies is known as the "Think" campaign. Road users must
stop and reflect on why they should refrain from breaking road safety rules.
During the 2002 Festive season the general consensus by commentators about
the unacceptably high rates of fatalities was that enforcement is a challenge
that needs to be overcome to help improve driver behaviour. The Government alone
can never possess enough resources to fully address the enforcement challenge.
The general mindset of a road user is to observe the rules when s/he see,
expects to see or be seen by a traffic officer.
The Mpimpa Hotline aims to create millions of "volunteer" traffic
officers in the form of all road users – the pedestrians, passengers and
motorists – to act together in unison and overcome the challenges posted by
unbecoming road usage behaviour. Suddenly every bad driver will be conscious of
the fact that the changes of being seen have multiplied immensely, because it is
every road user’s responsibility (24/7/365) to help stop the carnage on our
roads. Every road user has the means to pull bad drivers off the road.
With Mpimpa Hotline, the ordinary road user is now empowered to do something
– in line with the Government’s volunteerism request – and help reduce the
rate of collisions on our roads. Those who misbehave must know that someone is
watching and s/he will take action, because all the law abiding road users are
sick and tired of bad drivers.
Why the "Mpimpa" name?
During the struggle days the State (the minority government) used to plant
informers among the masses. The sole aims of these "impimpis"
(informers) was to gather information about political activities of the
oppressed, and feed back to the Government of the day.
In the new South Africa everyone is confronted with a new form of oppression
(criminals and general lawlessness) by a new form of an oppressive minority
government (the criminals who kills our people in their homes, on the roads and
everywhere). The government of the day cannot be omnipresent. It needs the ears
and eyes of the oppressed masses to overcome road related serious offences.
The modern day, new South Africa’s "impimpis" are a critical war
arsenal to fight the new form of oppression by a minority government by
criminals. A minority government by criminals who make life hell for law-abiding
citizens on our roads.
A concerned road user calls the Mpimpa Hotline and reports an incident –
any serious road offence. Hit and run, overloading, somebody driving without a
valid driver’s licence, drive a car without an RWC (roadworthy certificate),
taxi wars and the perpetrators, etc. The general public has a facility conducive
to creating an environment unfriendly to criminals and their dastardly deeds.
The call is captured and recorded.
- The Hotline
The current Hotline – 086 221 1010. The line is paid for in order to
discourage crank calls. Research results reveal that over 50% of all calls to
the toll free numbers and the emergency police number 10111 are from kids and
other adults with objectives other than what the toll free number was set up
to achieve. The Hotline will be live for 24 hours per day. The Road Safety
Directorate from 07h00 to 16h00 will man the line during normal working days.
It will be diverted to the call centre during any other time.
Every call will be recorded for reference purposes.
- Database Monitoring and Management
- Data capture and computer programming. The incoming calls will be
captured on the computer using an appropriate program. The program will
capture the details – telephone number, postal address, car registration
number, generate a reference number, time the call was received, the
nature of the offence, place of the offence, etc.
- Data classification. The nature and seriousness of the offence should be
established upfront to automatically determine the nature of the
corrective action required. For example, a hit and run incident is a
police matter needing drastic action whereas failing to stop at a stop
sign is a less serious (misdemeanour) matter which might only require a
letter from the Department to make the offender aware the he/she is being
watched by fellow road users. The offences will be classified in many ways
using letters of the alphabet and numerals.
- Cross-referencing. This facility will enable the system to monitor the
frequency a certain driver and registered car commits serious offences and
misdemeanours. Appropriate action should be established in consultation
with the appropriate enforcement agencies.
- Media Campaign
To build top of mind awareness, a comprehensive campaign to re-launch
Mpimpa will break on 9 April to run until 9 may 2003. The main media
activities have been planned as follows:
- Ukhozi FM with over 6.0 million listeners
- East Coast Radio with around 1.2 million
- Community Radio stations
- P4 Radio with around 445 000 listeners
- 10 mobile billboards strategically placed.
The abovementioned radio stations have been requested to actively support
the campaign (value adding) by stimulating debate among their
listeners/audiences to sincerely embrace the aims and objectives of reporting
wrong doers on our roads.
The solution to a reduced road carnage lies with all road users. Not the