Various reports have emerged recently where criminals throw spikes across the road to immobilise and rob motorists. This new tactic seems to be most prevalent on the N4 highway towards Eastern Pretoria, making it the latest threat to the lives and property of road users.
The nature of the crime, makes it difficult to completely safeguard oneself from the criminals however, there are a few tips that can assist motorists.
If you are driving on any highway at night:
- Ideally, ensure you are off the highway before traffic quietens dramatically.
- Avoid driving over anything in the road including plastic bags as spikes can be concealed in these.
- If there is another vehicle present, drive six seconds or more behind so their driving style can alert you should anything be amiss.
- If the circumstances allow, travel straddling two lanes as it may help you miss spikes being placed in the lane.
- When passing under a bridge, change lanes just before you pass.
- Reduce your speed in order to increase your chances of seeing obstacles on the road.
- If you spot an obstacle before you reach it, move into the emergency lane or onto the grass if that section of the highway allows for it.
- If you do hit a spike, reduce your speed to approximately 40km/h and continue drivingto the nearest place of safety.
- If you do not make it to a place of safety but do obtain some distance between yourself and the criminals, get out of your car and find a place to conceal yourself. Do not panic or engage with the criminals.
- In addition to spikes, criminals also use concrete lintels. If you cannot avoid them, slow down and carefully drive over them.
- Once you have safely moved past the spikes, contact authorities to prevent any other motorists falling victim.