If you see a red Volkswagen GTI, be afraid – it could be Nelson Mandela Bay’s ghost squad on your tail.
This was the warning from the metro’s political head of safety and security, John Best, yesterday at a meeting with councillors of the safety and security portfolio.
Since hitting the streets last month, the squad has issued hundreds of thousands of rands worth of fines and arrested at least 20 motorists.
The metro set up the ghost squad last month to clamp down on traffic violations in the city.
Following its launch, Best said the operation was aimed at clamping down on the general disregard for traffic laws and taking back the Bay’s roads.
To date, the ghost squad has arrested 20 people for driving under the influence of alcohol, overloading and road rage.
It has also issued traffic fines to the value of R344 000 from July 24 to August 11, with taxi drivers being the worst offenders.
More than 140 taxis were caught speeding, disregarding red robots and overtaking where it was not allowed.
At least 31 people were fined for talking on their cellphones while driving.
In an interview yesterday, Best said: “I am very surprised at the successes.
“I knew we were going to get successes but not as quick as we have.”
Meanwhile, metro police chief Yolande Faro said yesterday the force continued to extend its presence into areas where it was critically needed.
Faro was responding to ANC councillor Andile Mfunda, who called for the visibility of metro police in areas such as Soweto, KwaDwesi, KwaMagxaki and other areas in the townships.
Mfunda said: “We are concerned about crime in areas such as KwaMagxaki and KwaDwesi, where criminals roam around stealing people’s televisions.
“We need the visibility of the metro police in these areas.”
Faro said that the metro police had been operating in those areas since the beginning of the new financial year in July.
She said some of the force’s work was not reflected in the report that was before the committee but would be tabled at the next committee meeting.
The report that was tabled before the committee shows that in the past two months, metro police officers have issued fines to the value of just more than R1.2-million.