Security and Safety Tips
The security situation in South Africa is such that your life could be in danger anywhere and at anytime. Incidents are not limited to rural areas at night but also occur in urban areas.
- Avoid traveling at night where possible.
- Prevent/minimize breakdowns by having your vehicle serviced regularly and having intermittent problems seen to.
- Make sure that you have sufficient fuel for your trip.
- Plan your route prior to departure and inform family/friends of your departure time, expected arrival time and the route you will be using.
- Make sure that your tyres are in good condition and that you have the necessary equipment in your vehicle to change a damaged tyre. Also ensure that you have a spare tyre which is in good condition and correctly inflated.
- Should your vehicle break down and you have a family member or friend who stays near to the location of the breakdown, contact them for assistance because any service provider would require time to respond to your request for assistance.
- Should you be confronted by attackers, do not resist. If they ask for cellphones, wallets or money, hand it over without any resistance.
- If broken down sit in passenger seat with your hazard lights on. If offered assistance by someone unknown to you and you accept a lift, leave note visible in the car giving details of person, make of car, registration number, destination and cell number in case you are involved in an accident / person has other intentions.
- Keep doors locked and windows open about 5cm / 3 fingers.
- Approach robots with caution, if you can slow down early and pace yourself in the traffic and avoid stopping, all the better.
- Be vigilant at stop streets and plan escape routes, remember most hijackings take place when you are stopped.
- Look at curbs / escape routes and should situation look suspicious, use the escape route. Avoid turning against the flow of traffic. Rather merge with traffic flowing in the same direction, even if you have to create a minor collision to escape.
- Stop approximately one car length from the car in front of you to avoid being boxed in.
- Keep all valuables out of sight. Lock them in the boot.
- Beware of minor collisions they are often staged.
- Be aware of persons appearing to be injured or broken down on road. These are sometimes decoys.
- Use well traveled routes and avoid traveling in isolated areas if possible.
- If stopped by Traffic Officer / Police you have the right to ask for identification particularly if not in uniform. If uncertain ask them to accompany you to nearest police station.
Concentrate on driving activity, especially with suspicious people nearby. Try not to be distracted as this is the first signal hijacker looks for. If there is more than one person with you, let them assist you with the observation process.