Dangerous ‘spike’ tactic being used by criminals in South Africa – watch out for these hotspot areas

Gauteng Traffic Police have warned motorists against criminals placing spikes or objects on public roads with the intention of robbing them.

This comes after an increase in incidents of spikes placed strategically on the freeways by criminals.

Meanwhile, hard objects were in recent times thrown from overhead bridges resulting in motorists losing control of their vehicles, involved in unnecessary accidents and robbed of their belongings in the process.

“The modus operandi is that these criminals move from one area to the other where the roads are quiet to rob motorists of their hard-earned cash and other belongings.

“These incidents happen especially on Friday evenings and throughout the weekend between 18h00 and 04h00 in the morning,” the Gauteng Traffic Police said.

“The placing of spikes has resulted in many road users involved in unwarranted accidents and some even losing their lives through these ruthless acts.

“The Gauteng Traffic Police will continue to conduct law enforcement operations on Gauteng major routes and freeways, to ensure that anyone found placing an object is apprehended to face the full might of the law,” said  Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson Sello Maremane.

The following routes have been identified as hotspots for such acts:

  • The N4 Mpumalanga to Pretoria between Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer Offramp.
  • The N4 Pretoria to Mpumalanga between Bronkhorstspruit and Balmoral off-ramp.
  • The N1 Polokwane N4 Mpumalanga interchange in Pretoria.
  • The N4 to Rustenburg between R80 Mabopane Freeway and Brits plaza tollgate.
  • Golden Highway.
  • R21 Freeway from OR Tambo International Airport to Pretoria.

The following safety tips are to be followed as a precaution when a vehicle has been spiked.

  • Never stop your vehicle if you had a puncture while spiked, instead drive slowly to the nearest garage while contacting Gauteng Traffic Police.
  • If you are stopped by a traffic officer, demand to see their appointment certificate to verify if such an officer is employed by the relevant Traffic authority. In case the officer fails to produce his or her appointment certificate, take down the registration number of the patrol vehicle and report them immediately to the nearest police station.
  • If your vehicle has had a complete break down on the road, remain in the vehicle with your car locked while seeking assistance.
  • Do not allow any person to tow your vehicle without written permission.
  • Should you realise that another motorist has been spiked in your presence kindly stop and give the necessary assistance.

Read: 4 changes for drivers in South Africa – including longer hours at licensing centres

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Dangerous ‘spike’ tactic being used by criminals in South Africa – watch out for these hotspot areas