South Africa

Motorists beware: Tshwane’s tyre spiking hotspots and how to keep safe

tshwane vehicle spiking

The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) announced that it has increased visibility of its personnel on highways that have been identified as hotspots for vehicle spiking. 

The announcement comes amid an increase in spiking incidents in Pretoria over the past few weeks. 

The modus operandi of spiking gangs is to throw spikes across a road to immobilise vehicles. When drivers stop to repair the punctured tyre, they are robbed of their belongings and even assaulted.

Alarming increase in vehicle spiking in and around Tshwane

Speaking to eNCA recently, Crime Watch’s Yusuf Abramjee warned motorists about an alarming increase in vehicle spiking incidents over the past few months in Gauteng,  especially in and around Tshwane.

Earlier this month, Abramjee also posted on X that not even ambulances or the police are spared from falling prey to vehicle spiking.

This after a  Tshwane flying squad vehicle drove over spikes on the N1 between the Murrayhill and Hammanskraal tollgates.

TMPD ramps up highway patrol

TMPD spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said that since police visibility has increased on Tshwane highways, “several vehicles were assisted before they could be robbed after spiking”.

“Furthermore, pedestrians found on highways are searched and removed from highways.”

Mahamba warned that spiking incidents occur mostly when visibility is limited.

“Motorists are advised to avoid driving during late hours unless unavoidable,” he said.

Tshwane spiking hotspots

The TMPD has identified the following hotspot areas for vehicle spiking in Tshwane:

  • N4 Highway eastbound between Wonderboom and Bronkhorstspruit;
  • N4 Highway westbound between Doornpoort Toll Plaza and Brits Toll Plaza;
  • Mabopane Highway between Es’kia Mphahlele Drive and Ruth First Road; and
  •  N1 Highway between Carousel and Maubane Bridge.

ALSO READ: Car spiking hotspots to look out for on Gauteng roads

Safety tips to help motorists steer clear of spikes on the road 

MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert provided some tips on how motorists can increase their chances of avoiding vehicle spiking incidents.

  • Avoid driving over anything on the road, including plastic bags;
  • When passing under a bridge, change lanes just before you pass;
  • Reduce your speed to increase your chances of seeing obstacles on the road;
  • Concrete lintels are being used as well. If you cannot avoid them any other way, slow down and carefully drive over them;
  • If the circumstances allow, travel straddling two lanes as it may help you miss spikes being placed in the lane;
  • If there is another vehicle present, drive six seconds or more behind so their driving can alert you if anything is amiss;
  • If the highway is quiet enough and safety allows for it, drive across the island (if it is possible) and travel in the opposite direction;
  • If you spot an obstacle before you reach it, move into the emergency lane or onto the grass if that section of the highway allows for it.

What to do if your vehicle has been ‘spiked’

Here are some tips from Alpha Security Forum for motorists if your vehicle has been spiked. 

  • Reduce speed, but don’t stop. Try to keep the vehicle momentum going as much as possible. Your life is more important than the vehicle.
  • Try to reach a safety spot or spot with lighting.
  • Share your location on the Spiking groups or any security group or forum.
  • Give a brief description via a voice note.
  • Keep updating briefly via voice notes.
  • If your car can’t go further, leave everything, but your phone and run and hide somewhere, make sure to mute your phone and dim your screen, try to keep moving if possible.
  • If you do get caught, lie down with arms out and all your possessions away from your body, and don’t engage with them.

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