traffic blue light brigade

Photo: Pixabay

Blue Light Brigades are a threat to other drivers, says AA

‘Road users should not be bullied off the road or to be forced to give right of way when it is not safe to do so,’ said the AA.

traffic blue light brigade

Photo: Pixabay

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) said it intends to engage the Minister of Police and Transport and ask them to review the operations of the Presidential Protection Unit, also known as the Blue Light Brigade.


The AA believes Blue Light Brigades are a threat to other road users as there is “growing anecdotal evidence” that they travel at excessive speeds, swerve in and out of traffic and disrespect other motorists.

“But the blame is not only theirs; their passengers are as much to blame if not more so, than they are,” said the Association.

Presidential Protection Units are empowered by Section 58(3) of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), which permits drivers of emergency vehicles – traffic officers and other authorised drivers –  to disregard road traffic signs. Persons appointed in terms of the SAPS Act and drive a vehicle while carrying out their duties are also included.

Regulation 176 of the NRTA states that motorists must give absolute right of way to a vehicle sounding a device or bell or using an identification lamp.

“Obviously we appreciate that this regulation is intended to deal with emergencies and to give authorities the road space they need to deal with these.

“But to invoke this legislation to transport VIPs at high speeds, with a total disregard of traffic laws, is not only unacceptable it’s dangerous,” said the AA.

The Association said road users should not be bullied into giving way when it is not safe to do so and any driver who acts recklessly can be held liable for gross negligence when they pose a danger to another person even if they are transporting a politician or drive a vehicle fitted with a blue light.

“If politicians – and members of the Cabinet – speak on road safety, and the need to deal effectively with the carnage on the country’s roads, they must also obey the rules and instruct their drivers to do likewise,” said the AA.