Watch: South African highway cameras used to track hijackers

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has posted a video showing how it uses cameras installed along the country’s highways to track criminals.

In a recent incident, hijackers were spotted on cameras operated by the Sanral Traffic Management Centre and arrested by police officials within 13 minutes after the hijacking occurred near the London Road exit on the N3.

Sanral said that the cameras used form part of Sanral’s Freeway Management System (FMS) used to manage traffic flow and incidents on strategic national roads.

Spokesperson, Vusi Mona, said that one of the supervisors on duty at the TMC alerted the Joburg Metro Police officials – also stationed at the centre – of suspicious activity next to the road.

This was picked up from the closed-circuit television cameras used to monitor major roads in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, he said.

Cameras primarily used for traffic

The operators at the TMC are responsible for visual surveillance of the freeway network to detect incidents and manage traffic flows.

When incidents occur, response vehicles are dispatched and the public is informed through Variable Message Signs (VMS) located along the freeways, on Twitter and the i-Traffic website.

In Gauteng, Sanral said that it has its own fleet of vehicles that assist with securing, clearing and re-instatement of traffic on the Gauteng e-roads.

In the Alexandra hijacking, the JMPD alerted its freeway unit, which apprehended the perpetrators, said Mona.

“The close-circuit cameras are vital to our efforts to improve the safety and comfort of commuters who travel on the SANRAL network,” said Mona.

“One of the benefits of the Freeway Management system is that it introduced a comprehensive monitoring system that can detect crashes, stationary vehicles, veld fires and hijackings.

“This incident again demonstrated the value that a well-managed road network brings to road users and to the social economy of the country,” he said.

Read: South African hijackers are now using the ‘tap tap’ method – this is what you should look out for

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Watch: South African highway cameras used to track hijackers