Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
19 Aug 2017
6:15 am

Blue-light brigades a threat to VIPs

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Expert says many SA blue-light brigades are unnecessary, and they definitely feature way too many cars.

Blue-light brigades are a “law unto themselves” and a danger to the lives of the VIPs they accompany, says an expert in the wake of this week’s embarrassing multiple car pile-up on the M1 highway in Johannesburg.

One person was injured and taken to hospital after vehicles belonging to the Presidential Protection Unit ploughed into each other when one braked for a taxi, which moved into the fast lane ahead of it.

The police said there were no VIPs in the vehicles, but would give no further details of where the convoy was heading at the time of the crash.

Advanced driving expert Grant McCleery said police officers deployed to government’s blue-light brigades were not sufficiently trained, often breaking speed limits and aggressively bullying other motorists out of the way.

“Police today take it for granted that they are above the law. What they do on highways endangers not only their lives and that of other drivers on the road, but the lives of the VIPs they are meant to protect.”

McCleery, a former racing driver who owns training company Driving Dynamic, said they were often reluctant to teach blue-light brigade drivers because of the reputation these officers had of driving recklessly and causing accidents.

He said many SA blue-light brigades were unnecessary.

“If the Queen of England gets by with two or three cars, why is it necessary for our officials to have so many cars in their motorcade?”