The rewards of building a career in traffic policing

Get a diploma in Metropolitan and Traffic Policing at Lyceum

With a qualification in traffic policing, the world is your oyster
With a qualification in traffic policing, the world is your oyster
Image: Aletta Gardner/EWN

Traffic officers are hailed as heroic professionals because their skills bring order to the roads. Reports indicate that there is a critical shortage of traffic officers in the road-safety industry. Traffic departments and agencies are severely understaffed and with road casualties in the limelight, this is a significant problem. 

In monitoring the behaviour of road users, traffic officers need to be on the alert for intoxicated, reckless or negligent road users and ensure motorists have valid permits and documentation. Road agencies are in desperate need of trained professionals to deal with the issues that exist on our roads.      

Road carnage costs SA’s economy billions each year, all of which can be reduced with focused educational efforts.

Hard-hitting road traffic statistics

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), about 14,000 people die annually on South African roads and many more are seriously injured.

What’s more, News24’s statistics for the 2016–17 festive period revealed that 1,714 people died on the roads. The causes of these deaths are mainly due to alcohol, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signs.

How much is a traffic officer’s average salary? 

A qualification in traffic policing affords various opportunities for growth in the industry. This is a career that offers stability and benefits such as a good salary package, with bonuses and retirement payouts.

According to PayScale, a police officer earns an average salary of R169,466 a year. If you’re a police sergeant, the average annual salary can be as high as R193,945. As a traffic manager, you would earn an average salary of R221,778 a year.

The job provides flexible working hours, where you can work four days a week, allowing you time to enjoy family life and other activities.

What are the requirements to become a traffic officer?

You will need to be a South African citizen, have a Grade 12 qualification or equivalent, no criminal record, a Code B driver’s licence (manual transmission) and a medical certificate with a clean bill of health.

With traffic police training and certification, you will be equipped with the skills required in the industry and have access to further opportunities.

Who will hire you?

You can work for the government, municipality or any government agency, such as the RTMC, Cross Border Transport Agency or other national road and transport agencies.

This is a career that allows you to positively impact the safety of people on the roads and in the community. As a traffic officer, you can expect to become a reputable civil servant, dedicated to maintaining the safety of citizens on the roads.

You get to save lives 

Road safety officers are effective in helping to reduce the number of accidents and deaths on the roads. They are on high alert during holiday periods to assist in regulating appropriate road procedures.

According to the Easter long weekend road crash statistics for April 2017, more than 235 people lost their lives. This is the reason traffic officers are necessary – they assist in preventing unnecessary loss of life. 

Below are other statistics recorded for that time: 

  • 1,738 motorists were caught speeding;
  • 354 vehicles were overloaded;
  • 843 people were without a driver’s licence; and
  • 346 people were without a public driver’s permit.

You play a role in ensuring the safety of citizens 

As a traffic officer, you have to be familiar with road signs and be able to comprehend the rules of the road. This will ensure you direct the flow of traffic and enforce regulations effectively.  

To do well in this occupation you must be able to handle pressure and the demands of being a commander on the road. You should be able to work with people, direct road users, listen and make smart decisions. You should possess good observation skills and be able to solve complex issues when they arise.  

Being able to instruct road users and create order 

As a traffic officer, you need to be up to speed with the laws with which road users are required to comply and ensure they are practised. You will have to use logic and reasoning to make quick decisions that won’t risk people’s lives.  

You are also expected to monitor the behaviour of drivers, check licences and registrations. This includes being able to identify motorists who are intoxicated to help prevent accidents from occurring. Your overall responsibility is to make the experience of all road users a pleasant one.

Career paths you can follow with a traffic policing qualification 

  • Metropolitan police officer;
  • provincial traffic inspector;
  • traffic/police officer; or 
  • municipal law-enforcement officer.

Why study with Lyceum? 

Study at Lyceum Correspondence College to obtain a diploma in Metropolitan and Traffic Policing. The programme covers crucial elements in this field, such as General Management for Law Enforcement, Business Communication for Law Enforcement and Metropolitan Science.

Lyceum’s traffic policing programme is structured to equip graduates with the relevant skills and knowledge needed in this industry. It is uniquely structured to meet the growing demands placed on traffic and police departments.

A successful alumnus testimonial 

“With my Lyceum diploma, I stand a better chance to be promoted. Thank you, Lyceum. I am honoured to be a part of your legacy.” – Mandla Comfort Nyathi, Diploma in Metropolitan and Traffic Policing graduate, currently employed in policing.

When you complete your diploma, you will become a qualified traffic officer and enjoy diverse opportunities, with many professional and personal benefits.

To start your legacy, contact Lyceum on +27 86 010 0705, email or visit the website.

This article was paid for by Lyceum.

Image: Supplied/Lyceum

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