Our City Fathers, in their infinite wisdom and low political cunning, have given us traffic cops so that our tax rands can support a layer of deserving constituents who otherwise would be unemployed. We are doing these good people a favour.

We have traffic cops in Johannesburg so that busy people like you and me can amuse ourselves wondering, why is it that we have traffic cops?

Without traffic cops in Johannesburg, our taxi drivers would not enjoy the sense of impunity and transgression which is fundamental to their occupational identities. Without traffic cops in Johannesburg, there would be no sense of flouting the law, when taxi drivers ride up the pavements in order to pass standing traffic on the left; when they race up the wrong side of the road, fully laden, into oncoming traffic, passing twenty cars at a time; when they pull up in the middle of a busy intersection to load or offload their human cargo.

Without traffic cops in Johannesburg, there would be no fun in jumping red lights, road rage would lose its rebellious edge, and mothers on their way to drop off kids at school would find less satisfaction talking on their cell phones and doing their makeup as they drive.

Traffic cops, their orange and white vehicles cheerfully lined up by the roadside, their portly occupants gathered in happy fraternal knots, miming laughter and frivolity, give us  a portrait to watch and enjoy, of the great human comedy as we inch by in our boiling motor cars, during morning rush-hours.

Traffic cops, through their absence, remind us daily of the courtesy and tolerance and ordinary civility that we have lost.

Without traffic cops in Johannesburg, we would have much less appreciation for the Outsurance pointsmen who are the only ones to do traffic duty when the traffic lights go out.

If there were no traffic cops in Johannesburg, there would be fewer pointless roadblocks on the main routes into town during rush hour, and less cost to the economy from lost productivity, missed appointments, and business deals gone sour.

Without traffic cops in Johannesburg, we would have fewer opportunities to bribe a policeman.

We need traffic cops in Johannesburg to remind ourselves that a traffic police service that does not police and provides no service is of no earthly use to citizens or ratepayers, and a burden on both.

So why do we need traffic cops in Johannesburg? Anyone?

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