Who can you trust these days on South African roads? Men in uniform, posing as Metro Police officers, have repeatedly been stopping and hijacking vehicles in the Krugersdorp area1. The West Rand Cluster Police have warned motorists not to submit to this criminal behaviour and immediately report any suspicious activity to the police1.
The Road Traffic Act states that you must stop if a vehicle with blue lights and uniformed police as occupants instruct you to pull over1. Police detective units use unmarked vehicles so that they can enter an area unnoticed by criminals. They will use the blue lights only when they find some suspicious activity to make an arrest. Marked police vehicles are there for crime prevention through their visible patrolling1.
While the Soweto Police no longer use unmarked cars with blue lights to protect the public from these criminals, the Krugersdorp Traffic Department continues to pull over motorists using unmarked vehicles with blue lights1. So, some police efforts are still in place.
In a typical incident, criminals in a white Polo pulled a motorist over. As they approached the car, the victim noticed they were wearing traffic police uniforms. The armed men then take possession of the victim’s bakkie and all personal belongings and drop off the victim somewhere in Soweto. The Soweto Police Vehicle Identification and Safeguarding section (VISS) recovers the vehicle a few hours later with parts and personal belongings were missing1.
But what do you do in such a situation? What do you do if you don’t know if the police are fake or authentic? Read further and find out.
- What to do when pulled over
If an unmarked vehicle with a blue flashing light orders you to pull over, you may feel most uncomfortable doing so. In such a case, switch on your car’s hazard lights and drive at a reasonable speed to the closest fuel station or public place such as a mall1. Always clearly indicate all the moves you make with your car. Try and park where there are security cameras, lots of people or security guards1. Contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 to report any suspicious activity or visit the nearest police station. Ensure that you open a case and that the presiding officer registers it. If you have car cover, the insurer will want a case number issued by that police station1.
- What to do should you become a victim
If you do stop and realize too late that you are a hijack victim, stay calm and obey the criminals’ instructions. You can always get another car but not another ‘you’1.
If you don’t have the necessary car insurance cover, you could lose your car through a similar hijacking incident with a hefty bill for a replacement vehicle. So, are you sure your policy covers car hijacking? Are you also looking for affordable car insurance and world-class service? Get in touch with PMD for affordable, comprehensive car insurance with hijacking cover and unique benefits like fixed premiums* and an excess that reduces to zero*.
* T’s and C’s apply.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.