JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The April (and probably May ad June) 2020 coronavirus ‘lockdown’ is still a problem for everybody… and that includes those toads of the roads and driveways.
Crime has, for criminals focusing on shops and roads, become a tougher business with sparse traffic. However, as human activity gravitates back to ”normal”, the toads will re-appear.
So, it’s time to reactivate your anti-hijack awareness skills learned pre-lockdown and scan for road-traffic threats. Managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, enlarged in bullet points…
Refocus on the three areas of greatest hijack threat: your driveway, road junctions, and shopping-centre car parks. Approach each on high alert; do not drop your guard.
Always approach your vehicle with key/door-release in your hand and don’t worry about keeping a tidy boot while you load the bags.
Remember to reverse your vehicle into your driveway or parking bay to allow a getaway that doesn’t require looking over a shoulder – just first gear/foot flat as the bad guys close in. But first remember to lock doors as soon as everybody is seated.
At home, park parallel to your house ready to leave immediately as the gate opens. Arriving or leaving, be vigilant: watch the gate until it is fully closed after you pull into your garden.
DON’T RUSH THE RED
Familiarise yourself with the people who usually hang around at neighbourhood traffic lights and stop streets. Watch any stranger closely; refuse to be distracted by taps on the window.
Anticipate traffic-lights’ timing: Why rush up to a red light then have to hang around as a smash-and-grab target?
Criminals know all about blind-spots. Glance over each shoulder while stationary. Leave space between your vehicle and the one ahead so you can pull out and get away – always check for an escape route.