Posted on March 15, 2023

Motorists Urged to Be Vigilant After Reports of Spiking Incidents on Highways

IOL, March 15, 2023

The highway spikes gang is back in full force on Gauteng highways.

In recent weeks, there have been numerous incidents reported of motorists complaining about spikes or other objects being placed on public roads by criminals to force motorists to stop to attend to their vehicles.

They are subsequently robbed.

On Sunday, anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee posted on Twitter about a car with damaged tyres captioned: “This happened on the N4 near Solomon Mahlangu Drive. The motorist immediately moved on to the middle lane and continued driving slowly after the tyres were damaged by spikes.”

Mosa Hlatswayo wrote on Twitter: “I’ve experienced the same thing as I was driving on the Bronkhorstspruit Road just opposite the N4 towards Solomon Mahlangu Drive.”

Brilliant Photography posted: “I went through the same problem on the N1 after the Maubane off ramp towards Polokwane. I just continued driving, with two tyres down. Luckily the trailer was not hit.”

Grootman Ya Limpopo posted: “They are back at it. It was quiet months back. These people mean business … vehicle owners must stop driving at night; prepare the journey during the day and reach your destination safely.”

Speaking to the Pretoria News, Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson Sello Maremane, said: “We have in recent times noted a rise in incidents of spikes placed strategically on the freeways by criminals.

“Hard objects were in recent times thrown from overhead bridges resulting in motorists losing control of their vehicles, being involved in unnecessary accidents and robbed of their belongings.

“The placing of spikes has resulted in many road users being involved in unwarranted accidents and some even losing their lives through these ruthless acts. We will continue to conduct law enforcement operations on Gauteng’s major routes and freeways to ensure that anyone found placing an object is apprehended to face the full might of law.”

The routes that have been identified as hot spots include the N4 from Mpumalanga to Pretoria, between the Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer off-ramp; N4 Pretoria to Mpumalanga between the Bronkhorstspruit and Balmoral off-ramps; the N4 to Rustenburg between R80 Mabopane Highway and Brits Plaza toll gate; the Golden Highway and the R21 Freeway from OR Tambo International Airport to Pretoria.

Maremane said the modus operandi was that criminals moved from one area to another where the roads were quiet.

He said the incidents happened especially on Friday evenings and over weekends between 6pm and 4am.

“Motorists are urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious movements on our freeways to our radio control room at 011 689 3712 or 011 689 3999, or alternatively they can contact the police at 0800 10111.”

The Gauteng Traffic Police also urged motorists not to stop their vehicles if they had a puncture, but to drive slowly to the nearest public space such as a fuel service station, or contact the police.