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Motorists warned to be vigilant on N2 close to CT airport

April 2015



Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has warned motorists travelling on the N2 highway to be aware of a scheme in which criminals place concrete blocks and other obstructions in the road with the intent to damage cars and force them to a stop.

These stationary vehicles then make for soft targets, allowing criminals to rob motorists of their belongings.

The N2 is the major highway leading to Cape Town International Airport, meaning that both international and local travellers are put in danger, especially when having to catch early-morning or late-night flights.

The warning from Africa and the City of Cape Town follows an incident where a woman was robbed of her handbag and cellphone after she had to pull over at the R300 off-ramp on the N2 just before midnight on Sunday evening, due to a flat tyre.

The flat tyre was presumably caused by concrete blocks placed in the road by the suspects.

Fortunately two officers affiliated with the Ghost Squad of the police service were driving nearby when they spotted three men running in the direction of the woman and her Toyota Tazz.

The three suspects robbed the woman of her handbag and cellphone, and managed to run off before the officers could reach them.

They aided the woman in changing her tyre after which she could continue her journey home.

JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, said the officers then also removed concrete blocks from the road.

Kenny Africa, Traffic Chief in the Western Cape, says that there are officers patrolling the R300 and N2 on a 24/7 basis, and that CCTV cameras are put up along the N2 up until Somerset West to monitor illegal obstruction on the roads, among other things.

"Criminals", he says, "are still taking chances on these roads irrespective of our efforts".

Africa says that "as soon as illegal obstructions are spotted on the cameras on these notorious roads, officers are deployed to remove them". He also said that officers often go out to assist stranded vehicles on the road, especially at night.

Camera operators are also vigilant to spot malicious looking cars on the roads at night, but some criminal activity still manages pass through the various security systems in place, Africa explains.

Smith said the criminals involved in the incident on Sunday evening, took advantage of the misty weather conditions.

"It is already difficult operating at night", he said, "and with the heavy mist on Sunday evening, where you couldn't even see your hand in front of you, the suspects obviously took advantage of the weather conditions."

Africa confirmed, saying the mist could have played a major role as it might have been difficult to spot on the concrete obstacles on the CCTV cameras in the hazy conditions.

In December last year, a similar warning was sent out when motorists noticed various kinds of obstructions on the N2.

During that time, the Table View Neighbourhood Watch group on Facebook posted an image of a device used to puncture and tear the wheels of vehicles in order to force them to stop. These devices might be covered with plastic or cardboard in the road and drivers are advised not to drive over any foreign objects in the road to avoid this trap.

Africa urged motorists again to continue driving when they spot obstructions on the road, and to rather contact the Western Cape Traffic offices.

He says that the offices are in the same room as the camera monitors, and that illegal activity can be spotted immediately if road users phone them.

Motorist can contact the following emergency numbers at any given time: 021 946 1646 or 021 812 4581/2.

He issued the following safety tips for motorists who must use this route, but suggested that motorist opt for alternative routes if possible. The safety tips include:

- Be extra alert and cautious when driving on the N2, especially at night.

- Always drive in the right-hand lane of the road, where your vehicle is furthest from the shoulder.

- Do not drive over boxes, stones and other foreign objects as this might damage your vehicle and force you to stop. Stationary vehicles are soft targets for theft.

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- Traveller24

Article Source : Traveller24
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