You gotta love technology and the ingenious uses people find for it; and in so doing, provide a service to fellow humans.

Pigspotting has the makings of becoming a big hit with motorists in South Africa; and is being made possible by social networking application, Twitter. There’s this guy who has the moniker @PigSpotter who tweets about locations of police road blocks and speed traps that are set up by our good-for-nothing, mostly over-weight traffic officers.

His charming tweets about these speed-trapping locations, are by all accounts pretty accurate, and this has caused the short and curlies of certain high-ranking boars at police hog-quarters, to get into a real tangle. Subsequently they have hogged the headlines, squealing about all sorts of ridiculous transgressions that our beloved PigSpotter is supposed to have incurred.

Somehow it has not occurred to the top boars at Metro hog-quarters that policing is supposed to be visible, and that information being passed about their favorite grazing trapping pastures, is totally legal. And so they have issued some pretty dubious statements which reeks of pig-pen poop:

It’s wrong for him to inform people of the whereabouts of the officers on duty because drunk drivers will use other roads and cause accidents which could lead to innocent lives being lost

Presumably drunk drivers have enough control of their faculties to be able to follow Twitter feeds. And it seems that they should not be allowed to use “other roads” which must remain the sole hunting grounds of our kamikaze taxi drivers.


He could also warn criminals to evade the police, making it easier for them to escape

Criminals evade the South African police all the time, and all intelligent people know that Twitter or PigSpotter is not the reason why. No, no, no, rotund pork-bellies and plain incompetence spring more readily to mind.

I have until now avoided Twitter like the plague, but PigSpotter may have just given me a reason to reconsider.

Technology Making South African Traffic Cops Lazier, Fatter, Slower

Remember the days when lazy-ass traffic cops used to hide behind bushes, manning those old-style speed detecting devices with wires leading from it and spread out across the road, at some point ahead of them. When a speeding vehicle drove over the wires across the road, it registered your speed on the trapping device, which if exceeded the limit, would trigger the cop to jump out from behind the bush to flag you down and issue a speeding ticket. Can you remember how many fat fecks; I mean traffic cops, there were back in those days?

Well these days, the traffic cops are still lazy-ass swines who hide behind bushes and billboards or under trees; only, now you will notice that most of them are distinctly larger in girth than I remember from the old days. At this point, it must be pointed out that the bushes, billboards or tress must provide shade which is absolutely necessary to protect traffic-cop-blubber from wilting in the hot South African sun.

In the new South Africa, the devices being used to detect speeding have become more sophisticated; they now record your transgression on film. Which means that the traffic cops need just sit next to the device and keep it company, while it does all the work. No need to jump up from their comfortable position in the shade, and run 10 meters to flag down speeding motorists all day, as the captured film has just got to be downloaded at the end of a successful day trapping (extorting from?)motorists, and a speeding ticket issued to the offender (unlucky bastard) through the post. There are even fixed cameras mounted at strategic revenue generating positions that don’t need to be manned at all, which feeds the pictures electronically to control points. The net effect is that traffic cops don’t get no exercise anymore, and voila! A happy, fat traffic police service.

They now have more time to do important things such as meet in small groups near intersections with broken-down traffic lights to discuss the latest ass-fattening technology, or catch up on who is meeting the revenue generation targets for local councils, blissfully oblivious to the chaos ensuing at the intersection in question. Or maybe troll the local shopping mall parking lot, or even catch up on some shopping; why not?

The most noticeable thing about the traffic police is that they make very little effort to warn offenders, and educate them against bad driving behaviour, by just issuing a warning ticket. They are also reluctant to actually organise and man notorious traffic hot-spots on a daily basis. I’ll concede that some hot-spots are manned, but not in the daily organized manner required by the driving public. The lame excuses of personnel and vehicle shortages don’t wash, when you see them posted behind shady bushes, in places which are more amenable to revenue generation, rather than for being any danger to motorists. Traffic policing has become a rather convenient excuse to generate revenue, and speeding the alter of expediency.

The following photo shows some of the ways being devised to disguise the speed trapping devices. It smacks of laziness, and reinforces the generally accepted rationale of revenue generation by deceit. If you see or suspect one these bins being used nefariously, report it to the local refuse removal company (or vagrant) for collection. Lets see the cops chase after their speeding devices for a change.

Cameras, Revenue Generators and Automobiles

Earlier this afternoon, while at a local shopping mall, I noticed a duo of female traffic officers on foot, issuing traffic tickets to vehicles parked in the (private) parking area adjoining the mall. I stopped to observe for a while because I hadn’t seen this variety of traffic officer in quite a while. In the old days we used to refer to female traffic officers as “meter maids” because they would ticket vehicles parked next to expired parking meters on city streets.
I approached them to enquire under what municipal by-law they were authorised to issue traffic fines on private property (the shopping mall is presumably private property). It was obvious they didn’t know, and one lady indicated that because the entrance to the mall did not have boom gates, it was deemed an extension of municipal property and thus subject to the jurisdiction of the local Metro Police. By this logic, the land attached to my home could also be regarded as municipal property because I do not have boom gates installed at the entrance, either. Not satisfied, I left to continue my shopping, and when I re-emerged from the mall, about half an hour later, the “meter maids” had disappeared.
When I got home, I sent a mail off to the Mayors office enquiring about the legality of issuing traffic fines on private property and vented my anger. To quote myself, I wrote “I wish to also state that I find this activity of the Metro Police extremely reprehensible since they are clearly ‘lazy’ or incompetent or both in chasing the real threats to road safety, but are content to ‘camp’ at shopping malls chasing easy targets.”
My anger at the behaviour of our Metro Police is shared by practically everyone in this country. Daily we observe these fat pigs sitting comfortably under conveniently located shady trees, pointing speed cameras at passing motorists, while ignoring the traffic chaos caused by faulty traffic lights, a few blocks down the road. Their first priority is to issue as many traffic fines as possible. Traffic safety is not even secondary; it is an irritation that gets in the way of their daily siestas. That they are primarily employed to generate revenue for the local Metro Councils, is a well known source of mirth for the public.
And it just gets worse with the advent of newer technology. As the sophistication of the camera equipment they use to trap motorists, improves, their mobility correspondingly decreases. They no longer have to place these twin strips of wire (connected to a trapping unit) on the roads and then jump up from their seated position to flag down an offending motorist. No, these days all they need to do is sit comfortably under a shaded tree and the trapping equipment captures a photograph of the speeding vehicle. There are even fixed position cameras mounted on poles at various sites along motorways, which presumably frees the traffic pigs to enjoy longer siestas elsewhere. As a result of this decreased mobility, it’s not hard to notice how the girths of most traffic pigs have steadily increased.
The other irritation for motorists these days apart from the constant traffic, is the road blocks set up frequently by the Metro Police (read traffic pigs) to find those who have defaulted on payment of traffic fines. And the amazing thing is that these bastards don’t even try to hide the fact that they are stopping vehicles, invariably causing huge traffic congestion, just to look for motorists with outstanding payments against their names. The expenditure on the technology, manpower and vehicles to perform these exercises is an abomination and a criminal waste of taxpayers money.
Are we going to get real traffic officers back? Nah, I don’t believe so. Using these dimwits for revenue generation is proving to be a real rosy deal for the powers that be…