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PROJECT: ROAD SPIKING IN SOUTH AFRICA

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There is a dangerous trend of criminals placing obstacles on the roads to force you to stop and become an easy target for theft, hijacking, kidnapping, or fatal attacks.

Do not pull over if you encounter any such obstacle.

Your life is priceless, and it is not worth risking it for your vehicle's rims.

Stay alert, stay safe, and stay alive!

 

  • The number of incidents in which criminals throw spikes across a road to stop vehicles is increasing at an alarming rate. 

  • The motive behind this act is to rob the occupants of their valuables and vehicles. 

  • When the spike strip punctures the car's tyres, the driver is forced to stop, giving the criminals enough time to strike and escape with their loot. 

  • Criminals use different types of devices, such as spike belts, traffic spikes, tyre shredders, and stingers, to accomplish their heinous acts. 

  • A stinger is a type of tyre deflation device that punctures the tyres of wheeled vehicles to impede or stop their movement. 

  • Criminals also place similar items in plastic bags or disguise them with rags or vegetation. 

  • They even go to the extent of placing large boulders on the road or hanging dangerous objects from bridges. 

  • In a recent incident along the N4 highway in Pretoria, a stuffed puppet was placed on the road surface in an effort to get people to stop and help this "person." 

  • Motorists should be extra vigilant when travelling at night because when visibility is limited, it is an opportune time for criminals to strike. 

  • Due to the low visibility and high speeds motorists drive on South African highways, it is difficult to identify the dangerous objects before it is too late. 

  • Desolate rural roads also create hazardous situations for drivers.

 

WAYS TO REDUCE THE RISK:

  • Avoid driving over anything on the road, including plastic bags.

  • When passing under a bridge, change lanes just before you pass underneath it.

  • Reduce speed to increase your chances of seeing obstacles on the road.

  • Concrete lintels are being used as well.

  • If you cannot avoid them any other way, slow down and carefully drive over them.

  • If the circumstances allow, travelling straddling two lanes may help you miss spikes being placed in the lane.

  • If another vehicle is present, drive six seconds or more behind so their driving can alert you if anything is amiss.

  • When you see something suspicious ahead if the highway is quiet enough and safety allows it, drive across the island (if possible) and travel in the opposite direction.

  • If you spot an obstacle before you reach it, move into the emergency lane or onto the grass if that highway section allows it.

  • Stick to the speed limit and slow down in areas known for spike and rock-throwing incidents. This could give you enough time to spot the object on the road and safely avoid the danger.

  • If you drive over a spike or other damaging object, remain calm and avoid stopping if possible.

  • If the unfortunate happens and you hit a spike, reduce your speed to approximately 30-40km/h and continue driving to the nearest place of safety instead of stopping immediately.

  •  At all costs, do not get out of your car.

  • Instead, drive your tyres to the rim to the nearest police station.

  • It is vitally important that you do not panic or engage with the criminals as this can put your life at risk.

  • If you managed to move past the spikes safely, contact authorities immediately to prevent other motorists from being harmed by the criminals.

  • It is critical to identify the high-risk roads in your area/province.

  • This information is generally published in each area.

  • Always ensure that your cell phone is fully charged and its live location is always on, especially if you drive alone.


 

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Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

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Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

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