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PROJECT: THE INCREASE OF ROAD SPIKING ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA

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• Incidents where criminals throw spikes across a road to immobilise vehicles are increasing at an alarming rate.

• This is done in an attempt by the criminals to rob the occupants of their valuables/vehicles.

• The car driver is forced to stop, giving the criminals the time and opportunity to strike and escape with their loot.

• A spike strip, spike belts, traffic spikes, tyre shredders, stingers, and stop sticks, are only a few examples criminals use.

• A stinger is also known as a tyre deflation device used to impede or stop the movement of wheeled vehicles by puncturing their tyres.

• Similar items are also placed in plastic bags or disguised by rags or vegetation.

• Criminals place it in plastic containers as well.

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

• Motorists must be extra vigilant when travelling at night as this is an opportune time for criminals to strike when visibility is limited.

• Due to the low visibility and high speeds motorists drive on South African highways, it is difficult to distinguish 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, travel 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 and if the highway is quiet enough and safety allows for 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 do 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.

• Rather drive your tires to the rim in order to get to the closest 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 safely move past the spikes, contact authorities immediately to prevent any other motorists from falling victim to 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 on at all times, especially if you drive alone.


 

Stay awake and vigilant for your own safety and the safety of your passengers.


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Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

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