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 Post subject: Traffic cops and other issues
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:37 pm 
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Hi Everyone

Yes, I am still alive ...

Just to put a quick post in here. The traffic officials of the Kruger National Park are employed by SANParks and fine according to offences against the National Parks Act (and soon the Protected Areas Act). The money collected from fines is used for conservation purposes.

Although we have only got 8 traffic cops, they are all over the place and regularly issue fines. We can see that because of the amount of money collected every month in this way.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman


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 Post subject: Traffic cops continued
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:56 pm 
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Hi Jumbo and everyone else

The traffic guys usually work in pairs. One working the speed measuring device and the other for security. The security person is usually not a trained traffic cop (ie not one of the eight).

Just like roads outside the park, the decision on where to place traffic officers is based on where people speed. It doesn't make sense to put a traffic officer on a road that nobody speeds on. That said, the officers have free reign on where they put their traps, that way speedsters never know whether they are on duty or not.

I will tip the guys (and girls) off about those roads though.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman


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 Post subject: KNP Media Statement
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:12 pm 
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Hi Forumites

Here is the statement I sent out earlier. Sorry about the delay but it will be placed on the website soonest.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman


Thursday December 29, 2005
MEDIA RELEASE

KNP CLAMPS DOWN ON RULE BREAKERS

More than 320 fines were issued for various offences in the Kruger National Park (KNP) from December 15 - 27, 2005 by KNP traffic officials.

Fines for speeding made up the vast majority of this total with 259 fines issued. Other fines included driving without a valid driver's licence, trespassing (driving in the KNP without a permit), failure to declare weapons, alighting/protruding from a motor vehicle, playing loud music and travelling with the vehicle's doors open.

This is in spite of the warning issued previously this month by the KNP's Executive Director Dr Bandile Mkhize who said in a KNP media statement on Thursday December 15, 2005:
“We would like to warn guests and others who partake in such activities that our law enforcers would show no mercy if they find anyone transgressing the laws of the Kruger."

Speed limits on KNP roads are restricted to 50 km/h on tar and 40 km/h on gravel for the following reasons:
■ The roads are relatively narrow and are not designed for high speed, therefore it is unsafe;
■ Animals often use the roads and, not only are they in more danger of being run over if vehicles are speeding, but also there is a possibility that the vehicle could run into a larger animal like a buffalo, rhino or elephant;
■ There is always the possibility that drivers could loose control of the vehicle they are driving and crash, and as the roads in the KNP are remote, it might take many hours before help can arrive;
■ Although most animals are used to vehicles, a vehicle that speeds makes more noise and could spoil other people's game watching experience;
■ Most guests who come to the KNP do so to enjoy the peace and quiet and a speeding vehicle will naturally disturb this.

Fines for speeding in the KNP can vary from around R100 to an immediate Court appearance, depending on the speed of the vehicle and nature of the road surface.

Other offences and their corresponding fines include:
■ Trespassing - R400
■ Hunting (poaching) - Court Appearance
■ Cut, damage or destroy tree or plant - R500
■ Feed animals (including hyena and bushbuck at rest camps) - R400
■ Get out or protrude from vehicle - R500
■ Drive on “no entry' road - R500
■ Obstruct free flow of traffic - R500
■ Disturb others with loud music (etc) - R400
■ Littering - R400

It has also been reported that guests and other officials are using the KNP's 24 hour Emergency Call Centre (013 735 4325) to report various incidents that range from car accidents to lost children. Guests to the KNP are invited to report any incidents, including rule breakers, to this number and the officials on duty will report those incidents to the relevant authorities.

“We know that most of our guests not only obey the rules of the KNP but also help us to enforce them by sending us photographs and reporting transgressors. For this absolute loyalty we are most grateful", concluded Dr Mkhize.


Ends


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:36 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
admin wrote:
arks wrote:
Perhaps Admin with allow us to officially start this fundraising initiative?

Hi arks,

As a principle, I don't have a problem setting up a donations project for this, but seeing that it is an operations issue, I would like to first get the input of the park manager. I sent him an email referring him to this discussion and currently waiting for response.

Thanks, Admin! Much appreciate you moving this discussion in the right direction :thumbs_up:

I think a lasergun campaign is needed for both KNP and KTP, so I'll hope that the managers of both parks will agree. The situation vis-a-vis speeding in KNP is horrific :shock:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:28 am 
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arks wrote:
Thanks, Admin! Much appreciate you moving this discussion in the right direction :thumbs_up:

I think a lasergun campaign is needed for both KNP and KTP, so I'll hope that the managers of both parks will agree. The situation vis-a-vis speeding in KNP is horrific :shock:

Just an update... The park manager replied to say that this is a good idea and as soon as he gets the green light from the regional manager, they will register the project in our financial system and then we'll set it up in the E-Commerce facility... I'm waiting for their instructions.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:42 am 
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You guys have my full support - no doubt about that!

But this will succeed only if E-Commerce works in cooperation with the park as the implementation happens on the ground.

Right now I'm waiting for the park management to give me the green light.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:36 am 
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Hi All

Here is the official response from KTP:

Quote:
SPEEDING IN THE KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK


Management of the park recognize that a unacceptable situation exists regarding speeding and the results of speeding since:


- It leads to interference with the quality of the experience of all law abiding visitors to the park;
- It leads to unnecessary mortalities amongst many animal species;
- It leads to an increase in corrugations forming on the dirt roads which in turn are used by some visitors as an excuse for speeding. In order to minimize this allegation park management has to grade roads more frequently either by using conventional graders or alternatively using tyre grading. This leads to an increased expenditure. It is very obvious that roads close to rest camps on the way into the camp are damaged more severely since drivers are speeding back to camp for obvious reasons.
- It leads to an increase of dust on plants.

This is only to list but a few of the more negative impacts that speeding creates.

Methods currently used in the Kgalagadi to curb speed violations:

- One radar apparatus is used in the Twee Rivieren section by the local section ranger as part of his law enforcement mandate.
- All visitors entering the park receives a short list of the more common transgressions in the park which they sign for and agree to abide by. This list is in the process of adaptation according to the new law, The National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003. (NEMA)
- Transgressors are stopped if staff determines they are speeding (without the use of any speed measuring device on hand to prove it) and they receive a written warning on their entry permits and are once again informed of the speed limit.
- SAPD staff based at Twee Rivieren as well as all section rangers issue fines for inconsiderate driving.
- Statements from visitors are used too to warn and or prosecute transgressors.

However, using all the above, speeding still continues.

Using more speed measuring apparatus will certainly alleviate the problem but will never stop visitors from speeding altogether. Two more speed measuring devices is needed. These radar apparatus costs at least R20 000.

The fines issued for speeding do not prevent visitors from speeding. Perhaps the fines should be increased but this is in the hands of the local magistrate who have adapted them since the new law, NEMA, came into existence in November 2005.

The bottom line is that the attitude of people should change first off all. The question is how to do that. Perhaps education regarding the issue? Certainly an option to be considered.

Perhaps a serious warning at the entrance gate: Don't fool yourself - speeding can result in immediate expulsion from the park.

Therefore a final desperate measure could be to expel all transgressors caught speeding, by using a speed measuring device, from all National Parks altogether. In other words to "blacklist" them.

Any suggestions will be considerate by park management.


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 Post subject: Park Officials driving recklessley
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:57 pm 
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Location: Sandton
I have just returned from a short stay at Tambotie. One afternoon I was driving out of the camp and was about 10m from the intersection with the Maroela Road, when a Parks Sunset drive vehicle came hurtling around the corner on my side of the road. In order to avoid a collision I had to slam on brakes and swerve into the ditch on the side of the road. Fortunately there was no damage and there were no injuries. The Parks vehicle did not bother to stop.

I turned around and went back to the Camp, where the driver was picking up her passengers, to see what she had to say for herself. Instead of apologizing, she immediately attacked me and in effect said that I was lying. I left it there as I didn't want to create a scene.

The next day I reported the incident to an extremely concerned "ranger" - the camp manager was not in at the time. He said that he would discuss my complaint with the person concerned (I have her name). Thats where I left it. I don't know what happened as a result of this.

However, it saddens me that a Parks driver of tourists could drive so badly as to endanger other people on the road, and also that she was so thoroughly unpleasant to me. Is this how the officials are trained to deal with the public ? Is this a regular occurrence ? Is this sort of driving and behaviour condoned ?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:17 pm 
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Location: One small step for man, One giant leap from Kruger
We stayed at Tamboti In January and after a after noon drive we headed back to camp.

About 8km from the Tamboti Dirt road a Blue Toyota Hilux Bakkie ( A Staff member from one of the camps) came flying past us at such a speed, almost hitting the then breeding herd of impala's that were on the road.

I followed him to Orpen gate and confronted him. The staff member said rite to my face that i must mind my own business.

Pitty i did not think of taking down the Reg number


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:09 am 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
I do understand that when you visit the park you want to spent your time watching the animals and to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, but if you ever stay in Skukuza and get the chance make sure that you early at the gate before it opens (weekends not that bad try the week day’s especially on a Monday) before it opens, and once it opens drive to the Lake panic road turn off on the Kruger Gate road and then you park there and wait........
You will be shocked to what you will experience.
There are about 15 taxes and 10 bakkies all driving to drop of staff at the camp and the private concessions in the area, never mind the staff entering with there own private cars( Look on there windscreens they have a sticker called a bokkop on).

Being a Guide working allot from this gate I sometimes by accident get in before these guys to do a pick up at Skukuza, no need to watch for animals( must say sometimes being lucky finding Leopard, lion, Wild dog and Hyena on this road, you just cant drive past without stopping and enjoy the 10sec being alone with them before these guys being "LATE" drive almost drive on top of them and chase them of the road)and driving at 50km an hour, that these guys past you at a speed that make you look like you where looking for parking. To my understanding only parks board vehicles (Normally clearly marked with parks board sticker on the side) are a load to drive faster than 50km and still they have to stay at 65km an hour and not what ever speed they prefer.
This sadly to say is happening every morning for the last 2 years and believe me there been many complains, directed to the park been made.
sorry before I forget never mind the Matumi fresh produce delivery truck on a Tuesdays and Fridays morning entering as soon as the gates open and then at great speed chases up to Rhino walking Safaris and Singita Lebombo on the Tshokwane tar road to make there deliveries.
Try to avoid this road on these days, as once this truck ass past you, you will see nothing.
Monday's also not great as the staff from the north bring there Kids to the bus at Skukuza and chases most of the game off the roads in the Mornings.)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:58 am 
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Dear Forum Folks

Thanks again for this feedback. I agree that it is totally shocking and the behavour as described above flies in the face of our Code of Conduct.
As I have said before a number of times, it is always difficult for us to react after the time and without relevant information against people who are seen flaunting the rules and regulations.
As "robertson" and "petert" correctly states, it becomes a "he said-she said" encounter and without positive proof, there is very little we can do.
In the absence of anything else, I still recommend the following course of action:
* Contact our Emergency Call Centre and report the incident. The telephone number is printed on the entrance permit (013 735 4325);
* If you know the ranger sections very well, contact the section ranger and inform him/her of the incident;
* Ask to speak to the person's supervisor at the camp reception. Operationally, the guides report to the camp Hospitality Manager.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Hi KPSM,

Maybe a start could be made on the H7 (Orpen to Satara). It is largely the Orpen end that needs policing, say the 20 km up to the Tamboti turn off. All it needs is for somebody with the necessary authority to drive very slowly from Orpen three quarters of an hour before gate closing time to see those racing for the gate into the setting sun.

Maybe it should be made part of conditions of service that workers live in the park and not commute. That seems to be tha major problem here and elsewhere like Skukuza area. Also can employees' spouses be in a pool for first choice job applicants so that that could be maximised. i.e. employ husband AND wife where possible. The same with outsourced facilities.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:17 am 
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Hi Bush Baptist

I will alert the Kingfisherspruit section ranger, Richard Sowry, regarding your suggestion. I am sure he can make a plan.

Regarding the conditions of service, most (if not all) people working in the camps that are not situated on the boundaries indeed live in the relevant staff villages. It is also true that definite attempts are made to try and employ both husband and wife (my SO and myself are examples of this, but there are many more!) but it doesn't always work out this way due to other circumstances (usually geographic and vocational issues).

Incidentally, the ideal situation for a national park is to attempt to get as few as possible living within the boundaries to minimize human impact and preserve as much "wilderness" as possible. This however isn't very practical for the KNP to implement as there are established staff villages (and it would be very difficult to rehabilitate them). Because of this fact (and for the simple reason that there is a staff accommodation shortage in the KNP) we actually encourage people working in camps/ranger stations/facilities close to the boundaries to live outside the park.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

_________________
Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 am 
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Dear Forum Folk

Regarding this subject, I approached our acting Chief of Protection Services, David Nethononda for some interesting facts and figures.

He says that from January to March this year, 36 staff members were issued fines for speeding. Over and above this, he says that various contractors and suppliers were issued fines but that this statistic is included in general statistics, as they are seen as "outside" people.

Regarding the staff members who speed, this is regarded in a very serious light as the person caught not only has to follow the legal proceedure (ie pay admission of guilt fine or go to court, like everyone else) but he or she is also disciplined internally according to our Code of Conduct.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

_________________
Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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