Road blocks vital for safety

Transport PNG

ROAD blocks or police check scan be conducted by any police officer other than a traffic officer.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Traffic, Joe Poma said the public needed to be aware that any police officer has the power to conduct a road block in the event of apprehending a suspect.
“Road blocks are conducted in certain locations to monitor a situation, especially for the safety of the public.
“That’s why the public must be aware that it is not only the traffic that is mandated by law to conduct roadblocks,” he said.
Poma was responding to queries raised by the public questioning whether other officers had the right to conduct roadblocks and charge motorists fines.
“Most roadblocks conducted in Port Moresby, and throughout the country, were done by police officers others than the traffic officers, but it must be properly coordinated.”
He said police officers were not allowed to extort money from motorists.
“They should only use their discretion to either warn, issue a traffic infringement notice or make an arrest.
“Any cash transaction between a motorist and a police officer is illegal. A public collector of funds (a police office) is the only person allowed by law to spot fine motorists upon issuing a receipt.
“Police officers, as public servants, have the responsibility to explain the nature of the offence and the spot fines,” Poma said.
He said in the event where a police officer demanded money, the driver must take into account the time, date, location, identity of the policemen, and the plate and registration of the vehicle as elements of proof.
Poma appealed to the public to refrain from the practise of offering money to officers and accept a traffic infringement notice to pay their fines.

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