Standing orders for daily maintenance of police vehicles and driving standards

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DEAR EDITOR, an article published in Thursday’s edition of the Island Sun newspaper, from a retired police officer, Henry Kahui, recounted how police drivers in the past were instructed how to drive their allocated police vehicles and how to properly maintain them.

Perhaps, Mr Kahui might remember the Standing Orders that I issued in 1997 when I assumed the position of Commissioner of Police of the RSIP.

Those Standing Orders laid down the duty requirements demanded of all police drivers and the manner and procedure in which the vehicles assigned to their charge were to be checked thoroughly and maintained daily, checking on oil and water needs etc.

The Orders also laid out some supplementary demands for police drivers to obey in regard to the pursuit of their duties. Here I can quote some of the sentences I wrote referring to the traffic control work they would undertake.

“It is incumbent of every police officer to have a sound knowledge of the expected driving standards and of the relevant Road Traffic Act and Regulations.

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“By setting an example of courtesy and safe driving, police drivers will always be watched by others; their smallest mistake will be noticed and good manners imitated.

“By showing the ‘flag’ the mere presence of good driving practice by a police driver will have a steadying effect.

“In carrying out the duties as a police driver, as in all police work, it is especially necessary to be patient and courteous in every sort of circumstance, even in difficult urban and congested road conditions, because the whole success of police work, and that of traffic enforcement in particular, depends largely on the ability to drive safely and a police driver to remain calm and polite when other road users might be liable to be excited and aggrieved.”

Yours sincerely

FRANK SHORT

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