Keep your eyes peeled for the latest hijacking risks

South African cities are havens of opportunity, but also place people at an increased risk of violence and crime, according to a report on the State of Urban Safety in South Africa, which provides a breakdown of criminal activity throughout the country. The report, produced by the Urban Safety Reference Group, shows that hijacking risks are increasing in urban areas. Criminals are constantly thinking up new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting victims and we would like to highlight some recent scams in the interests of keeping our drivers safe on the road.

  • In January 2018, there were incidents of criminals throwing rocks off KwaZulu-Natal highway overpasses on to vehicles below. The Automobile Association (AA) warned motorists to be alert, not to drive at night and to avoid roads where rock-throwing incidents had occurred. The attacks were extremely serious and resulted in deaths, injuries and damage to vehicles. One strategy for dealing with these types of attacks is for drivers to change lanes immediately after driving under a bridge. But the AA says this is a problem when there are other motorists on the road with the same idea. It adds that the rules of the road must be observed and motorists must be extra vigilant.
  • There have also recently been alerts from Ballito warning motorists not to stop to help people on the road. A dummy was found lying on the road and authorities think it was left strategically to trap motorists into stopping so that criminals could rob them. The dummy was dressed in women’s clothing and was stuffed with rocks. A police spokesperson said motorists should take precautions on the road and instead of stopping to help someone in isolated areas, they should call the police. Criminals sometimes lie on the road pretending to be injured so they can lure Good Samaritans and attack them.
  • Another worrying report at the beginning of the year told of criminals impersonating police officers in Mitchells Plain. A truck carrying tobacco products was hijacked by eight suspects posing as police officers. They had used blue lights and sirens fitted on a white Ford Focus to pull the truck off the road. The empty truck was later found abandoned and investigators arrested a suspect from Mitchells Plain at the end of January. The suspect had a Ford Focus fitted with a siren, loudspeaker and blue light, not to mention an SAPS-issue beanie and a traffic services reflective jacket. Three more suspects were subsequently arrested.

We urge all motorists to be cautious of these hijacking risks and remember at Avis Fleet, we offer our customers total peace of mind that if something does go wrong, we’ll be there to help every step of the way. Our comprehensive fleet management solutions include accident management to take the sting out of dealing with the unforeseen.

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