Motorists have been warned to remain vigilant as opportunistic criminals place rubble in roadways to disable vehicles or get motorists to stop. Picture: Supplied
Motorists have been warned to remain vigilant as opportunistic criminals place rubble in roadways to disable vehicles or get motorists to stop. Picture: Supplied

Rubble on highways warning to motorists

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 1, 2021

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Cape Town - The City has warned motorists to be on high alert for loads of rubble placed on some of the major highways every evening to disable vehicles or get motorists to stop, making them vulnerable to criminals.

The removal of the rubble, which includes bricks and blocks of concrete, has become a near nightly occurrence, said safety and security mayco member JP Smith.

“It has become a near nightly occurrence for Metro Police officers to remove rubble from the N2, in addition to their regular patrols. While opportunistic criminals lie in wait for motorists to stop, slow down or have their vehicles disabled, it also has other consequences. Inclement weather, such as thick mist or heavy rain, also lead to more collisions as visibility is reduced, and the debris has less chance of being spotted,” said Smith.

Most of the incidents occur between midnight and 4am when there is less traffic on the road.

Motorists have been urged to remain vigilant.

“The success of the ambush is based on motorists not being able to see the obstruction, and therefore, day time incidents are rare. Despite this, motorists need to be vigilant at all times and not count on daylight as a preventative measure,” said Smith.

While there are no exact locations for where rubble is placed, officers concentrate their efforts between Borchards Quarry as far as the Symphony Way bridge and predominantly inbound between the R300 and the Airport approach off ramp.

There was also no lane preference, and criminals will sometimes stagger the rubble so that when a motorist swerves from one lane to the other, they collide with debris placed strategically in the lane they are swerving into.

Officers assist between two and six vehicles every night, but not all of these are because of the vehicle colliding with rubble.

“Do not be fooled into thinking that it’s a stone that may have fallen off a truck or it’s there by accident. These are deliberate criminal attempts so that when vehicles break down, passengers are robbed or possibly worse.

“Common assistance and safety is rendered due to fuel and mechanical related issues. During May alone, our officers assisted 347 stranded motorists mainly due to mechanical breakdowns, fuel and flat tyres. This is not the sum total of drivers assisted as others are helped by the South African Police Service or security companies. Once again, I implore drivers to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and they have enough fuel to get where they are going,” said Smith.

In an emergency, call 021 480 7700 from your cell phone.

Cape Times

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