Hijackings rise while drivers sanitise
MOTORISTS are encouraged to be more vigilant while they focus on sanitising themselves when getting into a vehicle as hijackers could be targeting them.
The national crime statistics for the 2019/2020 period indicate a 13.3% increase in car hijackings and 1.7% increase truck hijackings. Between April 1 last year and March 31 this year, 18 162 motorists were hijacked and 1 202 trucks were hijacked.
MasterDrive managing director Eugene Herbert said drivers were to take cognisance of these statistics because it was particularly concerning in the Covid-19 environment.
“Crime is only expected to get worse as the unemployment rate grows. Job losses and few new opportunities may result in people becoming desperate for an alternative source of income that some may take,” he said.
Herbert said even though people were already expected to be vigilant on the road, they could still fall prey during this period as people focus on sanitising their hands and vehicle when they climb into their cars, rather than driving off as soon as possible.
“Lockdown may result in people becoming careless and complacent. During the coming months, however, we strongly advise motorists to step up their vigilance,” he said.
South Africans Against Drunk Driving director Caro Smit said: “People need to look around them before getting into their vehicle, and doors need to be locked immediately, especially when one is going to sanitise.”
Smit said it was important to check for any suspicious people near one’s vehicle.
Naked Insurance co-founder Ernest North said: “It’s worrying to see a rise in carjacking and the threat remains high.”