By Kaya 959 News
At least three people have been killed as a result of spikes placed on national highways.
The DA’s Michael Shackleton said this served as a clear indication that Gauteng motorists’ lives are in danger and raises great concern about the ability of police to ensure their safety while driving at night.
In a written response to Shackleton, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, revealed that criminals place spikes on the road during the nighttime, with the intention of robbing victims when they have to conduct an emergency stop due to burst tyres.
Shackleton said so far, 149 cases have been opened with regards to spike placement along the highway in the past three years to date.
“Of these cases opened, only six arrests have been made but no convictions. No convictions have resulted from the three culpable homicide cases reported at Pretoria North Police Station. As criminals continue to trap innocent motorists with their hazardous tactics, the families of these victims continue to wait for justice,” he said.
Gauteng motorists don’t feel safe
He said not only do these roads spikes risk the lives of motorists who drive over them, but motorists of oncoming traffic are also in danger should a victim of this crime swerve too quickly to avoid the spike, or swerve after impact.
“Gauteng motorists already do not feel safe considering the increased rate of crime as revealed by the SAPS Gauteng crime statistics for the fourth quarter for the 2020/21 financial year. Car hijacking has increased from 2290 cases in the 2019/20 financial year to 2328 cases in the 2020/21 financial year,” Shackleton said.
He said the pattern is the same with truck hijacking, with 144 cases in the previous financial year to 206 in the 2020/21 financial year.
“The safety of Gauteng road users are already at great risk with the absence of the Gauteng Traffic Police monitoring the highways during the night,” he said.
The DA has called for MEC Mazibuko to declare the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service to ensure a 24-hour monitoring of Gauteng roads.
“Driving at night is already a risky exercise for motorists due to no natural light, and they therefore do not deserve any further anxieties over possible spikes that could lead to them being victims of theft, hijackings or worse,” he said.
He urged motorists to report any highway lights that are not working to us via our DA GPL Twitter account or Facebook Page, adding that they will
escalate the issue with the provincial and national department of transport to ensure that it is attended to.
Last week, police shot and killed a man suspected of placing spikes on the highway. Reports state that the man was part of a group of people robbing commuters in a taxi that had stopped at the side of the N1, after driving over spikes in the road.