Posts Tagged ‘Pigspotter’

Long live @Pigspotter!

September 20, 2010

Hands up if you are gatvol of the metrocops whose idea of effective policing is hiding behind the bushes on beautiful Joburg Sunday mornings nailing every motorist who comes their way?

We’ve all been there: just cruising along, window open, taking in the beautiful African sun, and just at the last minute the hazy silhouette of blue shirt/tan pants crouching behind that laser catches the corner of your eye and you know you have been had!! Bliksem!! You curse under your breath as you look down at your speedometer and start doing complex mathematical equations in your head as you frantically try to figure out what the damage is going to be. And then comes the waiting… for the notification to come in the mail warning you to collect your ‘package’ at your nearest post office – that official looking document with the blurry picture of your car which miraculously only seems to be focused correctly around the number plate area… “YLG…GP” Your heart sinks, you know it’s yours, and then your eyes anxiously scan around to look for the damage. R500!! For only going 75kays an hour??? If I was going any slower the taxi behind me would have run me off the road! And just to rub salt in the wounds, the offer at the bottom to pay with 21 days to get a 50% discount, an offer you begrudgingly accept for 2 reasons: 1. R250 is R250 2. The risk of getting pulled over at some random roadblock, in your suburb nogal, and the belligerent metrocop wants to slap the cuffs on you for the unpaid fine. What follows is the bargaining, the arguing, the pleading, the begging and ultimately… the paying + kicker. It’s a lose-lose situation!

And this is the idea of effective policing? More like profiteering. We all know it, we all admonish them for it, yet, as always, nothing gets done about it! We think of the countless unroadworthy cars on the road, the taxis rewriting the roadrules book , the maddening roadblocks during peak hour traffic, the chaos caused when the traffic lights are out and the poor Outsurance points men are outgunned by the number plate-less 4×4’s and said taxi drivers coming at them from all angles… while… yip, you guessed it, our friendly neighbourhood metro cop is 400 m down the road, radar gun in arm nailing each and every person who accelerates madly as they get through the intersection, as we all do out of sheer frustration as we get through a traffic jam!

Before you accusingly point your finger at me for driving too fast, just know that my poor mother got trapped not so long ago. I don’t even think her car has ever got out of 3rd gear! And then just last year, the metrocops have a wild-west like shootout with the ‘proper police’ as they caused untold havoc in the city as they were striking for higher wages – for doing what??

I loosely remember the old, seemingly simpler days in Joburg, when people observed the rules of the road, khaki-clad traffic cops were (somewhat) respected, mostly feared, and speed trapping was few and far between, mostly in notoriously dangerous accident hot spots. And best of all, fellow Joburgers used to flash their headlights to warn motorists going in the other direction that the cops were trapping up ahead. It was the courteous, common thing to do. And certainly much appreciated!

Those were the days, yet I can’t seem to remember when the last time someone flashed their lights at me to slow down – who knows why? Most likely there are just too many speed traps these days, and it’s just too tiring to keep lifting our arms to flick our lights!

But there is someone out there who is trying their utmost to make our daily grind that much easier and cheaper – @Pigspotter. He is the toast of the town, or enemy #1 if the metrocops will have you believe. If you haven’t yet heard he is the guy (who goes by the name ‘Clive’) who warns motorists on Twitter where roadblocks and speed traps are. The metrocops are apparently furious, “We have information that we are following up,” said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. “He will face the consequences of his actions.” After he was ousted in the press his following has grown to over 16,000 users on Twitter (that’s about R10 million in lost revenue for their coffers – no wonder the cops are mad!)

With postings such as:

“Pork chop on Jan Smuts just before the Hyde Park lights, he looks like a friendly strip that wants to be greased!”

“One well tanned pork chop playing surprise on rivonia rd by city lodge”

“Ham fritters roadblocking on Main Rd M71 in Kyalami. Random pulling over, checking licenses”

This guy is classic! Certainly makes for comical reading – and a welcome break from the bad-news bears we are forced to endure on a daily basis.

However, it seems that he has stopped referring to the cops as Piggies/Porkies/Bacon – apparently the cops don’t like being called names. Ag shame soooo hectic for them! (Pigspotter said P.I.G. stands for Police in Gauteng. Borat has nothing on this oke!)

In true Superman-style Clive posted “PigSpotting will continue, the only valid issue is the roadblock reporting, but I will continue 2 help innocent drivers from being extorted.

The perception amongst us Joburgers is that it the cops are finally getting a dose of their own medicine. If they want Joburgers to change their attitudes about law enforcement, the authorities need to take a look inwards and root out corruption, laziness and ineffectiveness. If they want our respect they have got to earn it! Stop motorists going through red robots waaay after orange, driving without licence plates, cutting in off straight-lanes to avoid long queues, not following safe distances on highways… the list is endless.

To quote tweeter themba_m who left this message on Pigspotters page “I wish the pigs were as hysterical about violent crime as they are about @Pigspotter

Now that just says it all…

@Pigspotter Fo Sho!!

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