Discretion, the better part of valour? Empowering traffic officials to make discretionary decisions

  • Rika Snyman University of South Africa
Keywords: traffic officials, police, training


This article explores discretionary decision-making in a specific traffic police unit. This study was undertaken from a social constructivism perspective, using a single holistic case study design. The research involved presenting scenarios to traffic officials at different stages, first at the end of their training, and then again six months after they started work, to determine how they would deal with situations that required them to use their discretion. The study sought to understand the extent to which exposing newly recruited traffic officials to the realities of traffic road policing influenced their notions of discretionary decision-making. The findings suggest that there are gaps in the training of these traffic officers and it proposes that the existing pedagogical style of training be replaced with an andragogical one, focusing on judgment drills in ethical dilemmas.

Author Biography

Rika Snyman, University of South Africa
Department Police Practice
  • Abstract 73
  • PDF 53
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Research articles