JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The latest crime statistics have revealed a giant jump in hijacking but it’s truckers who are carrying the criminal load.
The numbers have increased ninefold – from a 3.8% increase the previous quarter to a 31.4% increase. It is also the crime that saw the second biggest increase in the most current stats.
CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says this is rough for the South African truck industry: “The trucking industry is already facing major challenges with the huge increase in fuel prices. The need to have security services close to hand has always been a reality for trucking in South Africa which also incurs unneeded expenses.
SUSPICIOUS? TIME TO TAKE ACTION
“While this increase is unlikely to have caused trucking companies to source the services of security companies, it can be said that more onus is placed on drivers to be aware of their surroundings and be ready to respond well before it becomes a problem.
“The sooner a driver becomes aware of a suspicious vehicle following them the sooner the driver/crew can call security providers.
“Trucking companies can work with security providers to learn fhe situations to be aware of. There could be certain vehicles often used by hijackers or various high-risk scenarios where drivers should be extra vigilant.
“Once they identify a potential situation they can security services – perhaps even before a hijacking is attempted.
SOME ACTIONS TO STAY SAFER
MasterDrive has identified a number of scenarios in which drivers should be extra aware, such as driveways, shopping centres,and busy road junctions. “These are very effective in helping drivers to identify dangerous situations before they become a problem. Consequently, they are often able to avoid an attack and the trauma and costs that come with it.”
Interestingly, carjackings also saw a huge increase of more than 19% – seventh on the list of crimes that increased the most.
“With the increasing number of challenges the trucking industry faces, a situation – one that speaks to a ‘long-term’ solution. “Until then attention has to be given to the situation with the onus on trucking companies – and their drivers.”