Actions whilst driving your car
NEVER, EVER pick up hitchhikers or strangers.
Lock your doors and close your windows.
Avoid driving alone if possible.
Do not have bags or briefcases visible in the
Cell (mobile) phones should not be visible.
Avoid driving through high crime or unfamiliar
areas, or at night when the roads are quiet.
Know your destination and directions to it; be alert
if you get lost.
Make a mental note of any Police Stations in the
When approaching a red robot (traffic light), particularly at night, slow down so that you
only reach it when it turns green.
When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half
a car length in front of your car to make an
emergency escape if necessary.
Do not take anything from people standing at
robots (traffic lights).
Make sure you are not followed. If you suspect
you are being followed, drive to the nearest Police
Station or any busy public area.
Hijackers may stage a minor accident, e.g. if
your car is bumped from behind and you do not
feel comfortable with the individual involved in the
situation, indicate that he/she must follow you and drive
to the nearest Police Station or any busy public
area for help.
If you encounter obstacles in the road, e.g.
rocks, tyres, do not get out of your car to
remove them. Reverse and drive away in the opposite
Cell (mobile) phones should be carried on the
body. Perpetrators will not allow you to remove your
cell phone and valuables from the vehicle during an
attack, and you will need it later to get help.
Actions whilst parking your car
Check your rear-view mirror to ensure you are
not being followed.
When exiting your vehicle, be cautious
and aware of surrounding obstructions and
shrubbery that may be concealing a hijacker.
Never sit in your parked vehicle without
being conscious of your surroundings.
Do not stop to eat or rest on deserted
roads. Sleeping in a stationary vehicle is
Do not leave your vehicle unattended at
a filling station.
When returning to your parked car, have your key ready, but not visible,
so you can enter the car quickly.
If a suspicious person is near your
unoccupied vehicle, do not approach the
vehicle. Walk to the nearest public area and
ask for assistance.
Remember the direction from which they
came and fled, as well as the time and place
the incident happened.
Remember to make mental and written
notes immediately after the incident to
ensure accurate and detailed information for
the Police investigation.
Actions at your
When you are 2km from your residence be
extra alert. Switch off the car radio and
concentrate on your surroundings.
Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to
your residential address. If you are
suspicious do not turn into
your driveway � pass and come back later.
If at any time you have to open the gate
yourself, switch off the engine, leave the
key in the ignition and close the door. Then
open the gate.
If you have small children in the
car, take the key with you (this is the
only exception). You may need the key as a
�negotiating tool� - the perpetrators want
your car and you want your children.
If your children are older they should
leave the car with you
when opening the gate so that you are all
separated from the car should a hijack
Stop your car just on
the inside of the security gate and select reverse so
the reversing lights show whilst waiting for
the gate to close. This creates confusion
and may buy you a few seconds for the gate
to close completely behind you.
Check your driveway and street before
you leave or enter your residence.
Actions in other situations
If approached by a stranger while in your
vehicle, drive off if possible or use your horn to
If anyone in a high-risk area
arouses your suspicions, treat it as hostile and
take appropriate action, e.g. when approaching a red
robot (traffic light), slow down, check left and
right for oncoming traffic
and if clear, drive through the intersection. A fine
will be preferable to an attack. Treat stop streets
in the same way. Always report these incidents to the
South African police service (SAPS). The onus will be on you to prove, possibly in
a court of law, that you had justifiable reason to
act the way you did.
Should a suspicious vehicle in fact be a
(unmarked) South African police service (SAPS)
vehicle, the Police must identify themselves by:
Use of a blue light, loudspeaker or any
other police equipment.
The Police must go all out in order to let
the public know who they are.
The flash of a badge through the window
whilst driving is not enough.
If you are still not sure if it is a police
vehicle, consider the following actions:
Switch on your hazard warning lights.
Put your hand out the window (if possible),
indicating that they should follow you. Your
intention must be very clear and understandable.
Drive to the nearest Police Station, or when
in doubt, the nearest busy public area.
Try not to exceed the speed limit or you may
send out the message that you are in fact the
criminal (e.g. in a stolen vehicle, transporting
stolen goods, under the influence of alcohol).
Actions if confronted by a hijacker
If escape is not possible, escape is not
possible, immediately drop to the ground,
remain still and obey the orders of the
DO EXACTLY AS TOLD BY THE HIJACKERS!
Do not lose your temper, threaten or
challenge the hijacker.
Do not resist, especially if the
hijacker has a weapon.
Surrender your vehicle and move away.
Try to put as much distance between
yourself and the hijacker as speedily as
Do not reach for your purse or
valuables. Leave everything in the vehicle.
Try to remain calm at all times and do
not show signs of aggression.
Be compliant to all demands set by the
Do not make eye contact with the
hijacker. He may perceive this behaviour as
a threat and retaliate aggressively.
Keep your hands still and visible to the
hijacker, so as to give him assurance of
your passive content.
Do not speak too fast (if you are able
to talk) and do not make sudden movements.
As soon as possible, phone the SA Police
Service on 08600 10111 (also dial 112 on any
cell (mobile) phone).
Information to remember
Always have your identity document and driver�s
license in your possession as well as a pen and
notebook to take necessary notes.
Promptly report any incident to the police (SAPS).
Make sure you have the vehicle details:
model, colour and vehicle registration number.
Describe the hijacker
as accurately as possible. When observing a
hijacker, take note of his/her head and face �
the shape of the eyes, mouth, nose and ears.
Take note of possible irregularities. Look
at the hair, skin colour, complexion and
possible scars or tattoos. Observe the
build, gender, body movement, clothing and any
conversation that may take place.