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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

WATCH: Ambulance spiked while en route to emergency – What you need to know about spiking and how to avoid it 

Motorists are advised to not remain seated in their cars after being spiked as they could fall victim to robbery.

In a shocking incident, an ambulance was recently spiked on the N4 highway before the R80 intersection, leaving the crew vulnerable.

This brazen act of violence highlights the growing concern of spiking incidents in Gauteng.

According to The Citizen’s sister newspaper Rekord the ambulance was en route to an emergency call in Soshanguve when it was spiked on Saturday night.

It was reported that while the ambulance tyres were severely damaged, the occupants did not suffer any injuries.

ALSO READ: Car spiking hotspots to look out for on Gauteng roads

Watch: Ambulance spiked en route to emergency call.

Surging spiking incidents

Spiking is often used in hijackings, robberies, or other illegal activities.

This criminal tactic typically occurs when a vehicle is travelling at high speeds, making it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle once its tyres are punctured.

Criminals often use sharp objects like nails, screws, or even spikes to damage the tyres.

In some cases, they may also use other tactics like throwing rocks or debris onto the road to cause damage.

ALSO READ: Hilux hijackers strike again, silver double cab sought

The South African Police Services (Saps) warned motorists against stopping for obstacles while driving, saying this could lead to spikings.

This follows various incidents of spiking which have been reported predominantly in the R80, N4 and N1 roads.

A concentrated police operation conducted on Monday led to the arrest of ten suspects allegedly associated with highway spiking.

ALSO READ: Police hope to see fewer road spiking incidents after arrest of 11 suspects

One more suspect was shot and killed by the police during the operation, after he allegedly attacked the officials.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Motor Industry Staff Association’s (Misa) Sonja Carstens said levels of spiking in the province are increasing at a frightening rate.

She said the situation is so bad that spiking reports are now reported several times weekly, up from one or two incidents in a month.

According to Carstens, Pretoria and surrounding areas have become hotspots for spiking incidents.

Watch: Motor Industry Staff Association’s (Misa) Sonja Carstens speaks on surging spiking incidents

How to avoid spiking

While you may not be able to avoid spikings, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of becoming a victim:

1. Be mindful of your surroundings when driving, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity or objects on the road.

2. Drive defensively, try to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and be prepared for unexpected situations.

3. If possible, try to avoid driving at night, especially on high-risk roads.

4. Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and kept in good condition, with proper tyre pressure and regular checks.

5. Consider investing in Run-Flat tyres. These tyres can help you continue driving even if your tyre is punctured.

6. Stay up-to-date with local news and reports of spiking incidents in your area.

ALSO READ: Tyres deflate: Criminals lie in wait to rob spiked cars from OR Tambo

However, while these may prove to be helpful it is also essential to know what to do when you have been spiked.

Carstens advises drivers to drive as far as they can if spiked.

“When your vehicle comes to a standstill, don’t remain seated in the car. Move across the road and hide while you phone for help,” said Carstens, adding that you are more likely to be robbed if you stop after being spiked.

What to do if you do get spiked:

1. Stay calm and composed, but do not stop the vehicle.

2. If possible drive to a safe location that is well-lit, populated or a safe distance from traffic.

3. Call the police. Also file a police report to your soonest convenience.

4. Avoid confrontation with the potential perpetrators.

5. Document the incident by taking pictures of the damage and any relevant information.

ALSO READ: Car spiking hotspots to look out for on Gauteng roads

Spiking hotspots to avoid in Gauteng

  • The N4 Mpumalanga to Pretoria, between Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer off-ramp.
  • R21 freeway from OR Tambo International Airport to Pretoria
  • R562 in Olifantsfontein
  • N17 between Rondebult and Heidelberg Road
  • N12 between Klersdorp and Potchefstroom
  • N4 to Rustenburg between R80 Mabopane freeway and Brits Plaza tollgate Golden Highway
  • N4 Pretoria to Mpumalanga between Bronkhorstspruit and Balmoral off-ramp
  • N1 Polokwane and N4 Mpumalanga interchange in Pretoria
  • N12 in Witbank under the Merridale bridge
  • N3 between Leondale and Barry Marias Road

Read more on these topics

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