The launch of Cape Town Traffic Services' unique mobile traffic centre, the 'Hulk' took place on Wednesday 14 November at an event held on the M5 between Kromboom and Klipfontein Roads.
"The Hulk is a 26-wheeler vehicle that was donated to the City and since converted into a mobile traffic centre which is equipped to be linked to the Electronic National Traffic Information System (e-Natis) and is able to process warrants on site. Its estimated value is approximately R2 million," said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman J P Smith, who presided at the launch.
The vehicle was donated to the City by a technological firm and transferred to Traffic Services. It is a combination of a Mercedes Benz drawing vehicle and two inter-link trailers. The front trailer houses the generator to supply all the electrical power to the on-board equipment. The right side of the rear trailer slides out to provide extra seating for the public and there is a hydraulic lift at the back to enable handicapped persons to enter the vehicle.
To access information and function effectively the vehicle is equipped with an IBM server, an administrator station, five PCs, two television sets, four internal speakers, two external speakers, an amplifier, sound mixer, microphone, DVD player and an air conditioner.
Alderman Smith explained how the mobile traffic centre would operate: "The Hulk will travel the Cape metropolitan area and will be used at major events, roadblocks including drunk driving roadblocks, special enforcement operations and for public relations campaigns. The link to e-Natis allows for all enquiries about motor vehicles and driving licences, all enquiries about transactions for driving and learners' licences and information on the registration of motor vehicles such as name and address of the registered owner, previous licence numbers and licence enquiries regarding roadworthy certificates, suspension and scrapping."
The advantage of processing a warrant on site is that a person will realise the consequence of a warrant of arrest and can respond to a court date, when it is served on them.
When a person is found to have outstanding warrants, a copy of the warrant, signed by the magistrate of the court concerned, is printed to effect the arrest. The person has the option to pay the amount as stated on the warrant on site, via the cash facility.
If it is found that there are summonses to appear in court that have not been served personally to the motorist, which in turn led to a warrant being issued, then a Section 72 Notice (a warning to appear in court on a given date) will be issued. The accused has the option of immediately paying for that warrant as well.
If a motorist has a double contempt of court warrant outstanding, they will be arrested immediately and taken to the SAPS.
Photo caption: The launch of the Hulk with its display of messages and images of Traffic Services' Inspector Inez Lackay, Senior Traffic Officer Bongani Matshaya and civilian volunteers.