Gauteng Traffic Police have warned drivers about criminals placing spikes on public roads with the intention of getting them to stop, and then robbing them.
An increase in spikes placed strategically on freeways by criminals has been noted by police across the province.
“These incidents happen especially on Friday evenings and throughout the weekend between 18:00 and 04:00 in the morning,” the Gauteng Traffic Police said.
Following the report, MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert stated that the spike traps are yet another threat to South African motorists.
“Drivers must be extra vigilant and follow some tips to try manage the risk it presents,” said Herbert.
“The nature of the crime, however, makes it quite difficult to completely safeguard oneself from the criminals – but there are a few tips that can assist motorists.”
Herbert stated that if you are driving on a highway at night, you should follow several tips to ensure your safety.
These are listed below:
- Ideally, ensure you are off the highway before traffic quietens dramatically.
- Avoid driving over anything in the road – including plastic bags.
- If there is another vehicle present, drive six seconds or more behind.
- If the circumstances allow, travel straddling two lanes as it may help you miss spikes.
- When passing under a bridge, change lanes just before you pass.
- Reduce your speed in order to increase your chances of seeing obstacles in the road.
- If you spot an obstacle, move into the emergency lane or onto the grass.
- If the highway is quiet enough and safety allows for it, drive across the island and travel in the opposite direction.
- If you do hit a spike, reduce your speed to approximately 40km/h and continue driving. Continue to the nearest place of safety.
- If you do not make it to a place of safety, but do obtain distance between yourself and the criminals, get out of your car and safely find a place to conceal yourself and call for help.
- Concrete lintels are being used as well. If you cannot avoid them, slow down and carefully drive over them.
- Once you have safely moved past the spikes, contact authorities to prevent any other motorists falling victim.
“The ultimate goal is to put distance between yourselves and the criminals,” said Herbert.