Car hijacking crime prevention tips
- Always travel with the doors locked.
- Keep all windows closed or, at most, do not open them more than would allow a hand to fit through.
- Leave enough room between your car and the one in front to avoid being boxed in. Make sure you can see where the tyres of the other car make contact with the road.
- Remain in your car if it is hit from behind by another vehicle. Inspect any damage only once you are sure it is not a hijack attempt.
- Attract the attention of other motorists or pedestrians if you think you are in danger. You can use the hooter, flash your lights, put your emergency lights on and shout.
- Be aware of anybody who approaches your car or is loitering near traffic lights, stop streets, parking areas or your driveway.
- Constantly monitor what vehicles are travelling behind you, ahead of and next to you. More than one vehicle could be involved and they could be setting a trap to stop you. If you are suspicious of vehicles around you, take responsible action to get out of the situation.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, you should ideally drive to the nearest police station. If this is not possible, drive to another safe place but do not go home.
- If approached by a suspicious-looking person, especially at night or in lonely areas, drive off quickly from a stop street or intersection, always heeding traffic danger. Skipping a stop sign or red light remains an offence and the onus is on you to prove that your action was in self-defence.
- At unusual or unexpected roadblocks, keep windows closed and doors locked and ask for the police or traffic officer’s identity card. Show your identity document to them through the window. Trust works both ways, the same goes for being stopped by traffic officers at speed traps.
- On long journeys only stop to rest/stay overnight at safe places. Parking next to the road or in a parking area overnight is not safe.
- Report any suspicious-looking strangers and vehicles to the police. Give a description of the occupants and their vehicle.
- Do not stop at the scene of an accident unless you are convinced it is genuine. Accidents can be set up in the hope that you will stop to assist. Sometimes a “body” is put next to the road. Rather drive on and report the incident at the nearest police station. Even slowing down much may make you vulnerable.
- Do not enter your garage or a parking area if you believe you are being followed. Drive to the nearest police station.
- Do not stop if, for example, a passer-by indicates that your car has a flat tyre or other defect. Drive to the nearest service station or safe area and check it there. It is a good idea to keep a product that temporarily seals any puncture and inflates the tyre, in your car.
- Do not tell strangers of your movements and/or plans.
- Do not pick up hitchhikers or unknown passengers.
- Do not leave your car door open and the engine running while opening your garage door or gates – criminals can act faster than you expect.
- Do not be distracted by people handing out flyers at intersections or buy items, such as flowers, newspapers, cold drinks from unfamiliar vendors.