Warning: Spikes on R59

Gauteng Traffic and Emergency Info issued a warning for people to be vigilant when driving at night.

Hijacking and motor vehicle theft will always be an issue that we need to focus on.

“Criminals are opportunistic and are always looking for ways to get what they want”, says Charnel Hattingh, Group Head of Communications and Marketing at Fidelity Services Group.

She adds that motorists should also be aware of ensuring their vehicles are locked when parked at shopping malls, schools, medical centres, businesses and so on.

“The growing use of a remote jamming device to block or jam the locking mechanism of motor vehicles has unfortunately become an everyday occurrence,” she says.

“It is especially important not to leave any valuable items inside the car where they can be seen from the window. Rather lock these items in the boot,” she says.

Here are some helpful hijack prevention tips from Fidelity Services Group and the National Hijack Prevention Academy:

• Remember that 68% of all hijackings occur close to home so be especially vigilant when pulling out of your driveway or coming home.

• If you have an electric gate, do not pull into your driveway before opening the gate. This can allow hijackers to box you in. Rather open your gate while your car is still in the road to allow a quick getaway if necessary

• If you suspect you are being followed, put your indicator on and slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home. By doing this, you force the vehicle behind you to pass and you can then get a better idea of their intentions

• If you need to stop in your driveway to manually open the gate, always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running unless you have a child in the car. If your child is in the car, take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – the criminals want your car and you want your child

• Always make sure you can see the back wheels of the car in front of you when you stop in the traffic. This gives you enough room to manoeuvre and escape if you have to, for whatever reason

• Don’t fall for the “tap tap” trap where a driver taps the back of your car in traffic. They often use female drivers as decoys here. Never get out of your car on the scene to assess the damage but rather drive to a busy location signal to the other driver to follow you. If it is not legitimate, they will seldom follow you

• If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. You can easily be followed into your complex so always remain vigilant.

Research shows that most people relax the closer they get to home and this is often when they are most vulnerable

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