A number of strikes are expected to disrupt traffic this week as people resume regular economic activities. Ideally, one would like to avoid being caught up in any of the protest action, but if this is unavoidable, there are a number of tips to keep in mind.
Although many of the planned strikes are intended to be peaceful, it is possible, that you may feel vulnerable if caught in the middle of a mass protest. Your decision about what course of action to take should be determined firstly, by your personal safety and secondly by the safety of your vehicle.
“To avoid protest action all together, keep abreast of news reports and look out for alerts on social media and apps before choosing your route. Unfortunately, even with the best of care in mind, it is possible to get caught up among a group of protesters. In such an instance, make it a point not to engage with protestors in any way. Rather, look out for the nearest and safest exit and slowly and carefully make your way towards it, taking care not to antagonize those on strike. If authorities are present, pay attention to their instructions and follow their lead in order to prevent harm to yourself, passengers and vehicle.
In some instances and even in the presence of authorities, protestors sometimes attempt to harm motorists and cause damage to passing vehicles. In this scenario identify a way to safely turn around or move in the opposite direction. It is essential to do this without driving recklessly or endangering other drivers or pedestrians. Do not swerve into an oncoming lane in a panic. Rather, wait calmly until you can safely perform a U-turn.
Drivers should also be prepared for strikes which are not broadcast in the media. Keep an eye out for people gathering at the side of the road or on bridges. Drive watching 12 seconds ahead of you to identify any volatile situations immediately.
Ultimately, if you are forced to stop or slow down because of a protest, do not block yourself by stopping too closely to the car ahead of you; leaving you with little to not room to manoeuvre. Be prepared to exit the car quickly in an emergency. The car, however, is normally the safest place.”
If you ever find yourself in the middle of protest action, remaining calm is key. “The objective is to avoid the situation completely. Otherwise, never let potentially volatile protest action catch you by surprise as things could turn violent at any moment,” advises Eugene Herbert, Managing Director of Master Drive