Tag Archives: safety

smash and grab

Smash-and-grab incidents on the rise in Cape Town

As smash-and-grab incidents are becoming an epidemic all over the Western Cape, we find it is helpful to warn our readers of crooks on the prowl.

If you make use of the Weltevreden and Govan Mbeki Road intersection near Phillipi, it is advised that you be very cautious as it is now a hot spot for smash and grabs. As this road links Philippi, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Lansdowne, Ottery and Wetton, it has made the intersection popular for locals travelling via Vanguard Drive.

Philippi police spokesperson, Lieutenant Lance Goliath has confirmed that there has been a smash-and-grab trend in the area.

A motorist has recently witnessed an unsuspecting driver fall victim to the crime. He said, ”I spotted a man walking towards the car at the red robot ahead of me. It looked like he was begging but he had other intentions because I saw him looking into the car’s back window. The man was not paying attention and the ‘beggar’ hit, running off with a bag.”. But he himself has become a victim after witnessing this and two other smash-and-grab incidents.

He said, “My daughter and I were driving home after buying take-aways when a man approached the car. I only realised what had happened when it was too late. He smashed the window and took the food off my daughter’s lap. While he didn’t get away with much, the cost of repairing the window was steep.”

If you are a frequent motorist in this area, please be vigilant and have a look at these tips to help prevent smash-and-grab incidents from happening to you.



Driving and texting

Traffic cops may soon detect if you’re texting and driving

Is texting and driving one of your bad habits? Police could soon be equipped with a hand-held device to catch drivers using their phone behind the wheel. This news became apparent after the US-based Virginian Pilot reported that a small tech firm is blending electronic cable repair technology with police equipment to create a new tool for law enforcement. ComSonics, which works to calibrate radar guns and other police equipment, says its technology is “close to production”.

Distracted driving is described as an epidemic sweeping our roads and the main culprit is texting and driving as it’s estimated that  texting and driving might be the number one killer on the road by 2015. This topic is receiving much attention internationally and even car manufacturers have joined the call to ban drivers from text messaging with cell phones and other hand-held devices.

The device is based on sensors used to detect radio emissions leaking from damaged electronic cables and therefore the device will be able to show you which cars are actively using their cell phones.

ComSonics, the company,  presented the new technology at a ”distracted driving summit” in Virginia, where it told delegates that there were several hurdles to clear surrounding use of the technology.

The company says drivers should not be worried about privacy issues as devices cannot decode information such as text messages.

However, another entrepreneur has proposed a different solution to texting and driving. His company, Katasi, has developed a system that will lock incoming calls or text messages to mobile phones while cars are on the move.  Passengers will be free to use phones as the system can learn a family’s patterns and movements before deducing who is driving the car – such as a teenager driving home from school – while using GPS sensors to check if a phone is moving or stationary.


makeup in car

You should not be doing any of these things while driving

Most drivers on the road would say that they are pretty good drivers, and they feel they rarely put themselves in harms way when on the road – however this is actually a misjudgment. Just because you haven’t been in a life threatening accident does not mean you are a safe driver by any means. Having not been in an accident should not be what determines a safe driver from an unsafe one.

Here are 8 of the most dangerous things we tend to do while driving. These are things we do without thinking, but it’s a fact that even just looking away for a split second may cost you your life.

1. Eating while driving.

For most people eating a quick apple while driving might be fine, but if you’re munching on a sandwich and all of a sudden you look down because you just realised you messed all over yourself – that right there could be your fatal flaw.

2. Road rage.

People driving while they are upset is a common occurrence and you don’t have to have been upset by another driver to experience road rage. You might simply have had a bad day. Driving in this state is dangerous and causes distraction, which, in turn, affects a driver’s ability to concentrate. If you do become upset with another driver, you may tend to start driving aggressively which is an accident waiting to happen.

3. Reaching for something.

How often have you reached for your cellphone in your handbag on the floor or on the passenger seat? This could be the worst thing to do. If you are trying to reach something, you are distracting yourself from keeping your eyes on the road and you don’t have your hands properly placed on the steering wheel to respond to something if it were to happen.

4. Putting on makeup.

Apart from jamming the mascara brush into your eye, a lot of other things can go wrong if you put on makeup while driving. Think of it this way – you might not have a face to put on any make up after an accident. Therefore, rather leave the make up while you’re driving.

5. Changing Clothes.

There is not a single article of clothing that should be changed while driving. Changing clothes involves taking your foot off the brake, hands off the steering wheel, and eyes off the road.

6. Driving with headphones.

If you drive with headphones, you automatically take away one of the two things that keeps you focused on the road – sound. If you are driving with headphones or ear buds in, you are tossing your sense of sound out the car window.

7. Driving with a child or pet on your lap.

Driving with a child or dog on your lap is one of the worst mistakes you can make, yet we see it all the time. It is simply unsafe to transport a pet or small infant in the car without an appropriate car seat.

8. Using your phone or tab while driving.

Everybody knows that texting, taking a phone call or taking a selfie  while driving is dangerous, yet countless people do it. It not only averts your attention, it means you aren’t focused on the road, and hands are not on the wheel – which are the important things you need to stay safe on the road.





Do you use your child’s car seat correctly?

It is estimated that a staggering 75% of all car seats for children are installed incorrectly – that is a big amount! Are you one of those people who halfheartedly installed the car seat in your car? This can pose a huge danger to your child. To help you getting on the right track, here are our top six tips for installing a children’s car seat to keep your child out of harm’s way.

1. Always, always read the manual. Maybe you don’t read the manual when it comes to the new blender or television, but you can’t skip it when it comes to things like car seats. Unless you have done it before – rather read the manual to ensure you do it correctly. To be even more safe, read both your vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manual from the manufacturer.

2. Be cautious with borrowed or second-hand car seats. If you have borrowed it from someone, check the seat carefully and look out for things such as wearing and tearing, if the harness is working correctly and if it has a properly working buckle.

3. It is oh-so important to choose an age-appropriate seat. You may be unaware, but car seats are made to fit children at specific ages and heights. If a child weighs less than about 10 kg, they should always travel in a rear-facing car seat. Toddlers who weigh between 10-20 kg and are about one-year-old should ride in a forward-facing seat. Older kids should use a booster seat until the age of 8. And remember, children under age 13 should never ride in the front passenger seat as they’re always safest in the backseat. If a front seat airbag deploys it could cause serious injury – even to small-framed adults.

4. Rather be safe than sorry and avoid using car seats that have been in an accident and never use a car seat that is more than seven years old.

5. Keep the straps tight (but not too tight, obviously). The straps should be tight enough so you can only fit one finger between the child and the straps. Even if your child throws a tantrum, don’t give in and loosen the straps as the result could be deadly in a collision. All straps should lie flat against the child’s body and the chest clip should be positioned at the child’s armpit level.

6. Lastly, it is also important to secure lose objects in your car. Make sure all objects are stored as even an umbrella or a water bottle could be very hazardous in an accident towards a small child or a baby.


Does marijuana pose an issue for road safety?

Now that marijuana has been made legal in more places in the world (such as some states in the US), there has been some concern on the effect of the plant on road safety. However, legal or illegal, people still use marijuana anyway which is why this concern should be addressed.

The Huffington Post made this issue apparent after a teenager from New York was involved in a fatal accident after he got behind the wheel after smoking marijuana. The car crashed into a tree killing all his friends and now the teenager faces 15 years in jail.

This above mentioned incident, alongside others, poses the question: Does marijuana (and the legalisation thereof) have an immediate impact on the safety of people on the road (much like the infamous ”drinking and driving” issue)?

Studies of marijuana’s effects show that the drug may slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are important driving skills. But then again unlike with alcohol, drivers high on weed tend to be aware that they are impaired and try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles. On the other hand, combining marijuana with alcohol appears to eliminate the user’s exaggerated caution and to increase driving impairment beyond the effects of either substance alone.

“We see the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington as a wake-up call for all of us in highway safety,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. “We don’t know enough about the scope of marijuana-impaired driving to call it a big or small problem. But anytime a driver has their ability impaired, it is a problem.”

More studies have been done to deduct if marijuana does have an immediate impact on road accidents, but most of these studies’ results are unclear as marijuana has only been legal for a short amount of time in the US and the data is limited. There are other factors like habitual marijuana smokers that are at a lesser risk of feeling an influence, and in most cases will be fine driving vs. beginner-smokers who will be very impaired.

The only solution seem to be that places where marijuana is legal should set a clear limit to how much marijuana you can smoke before driving (if any) – much like the blood alcohol limit. “If states legalise marijuana, they must set clear limits for impairment behind the wheel and require mandatory drug testing following a crash,” said Deborah Hersman, former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

What are your thoughts on this controversial topic?



Volvo xc90

First Edition of all-new Volvo XC90 sold out in 47 hours

Last week we showed you the all-new Volvo XC90 and now we are here to tell you what went down since then.

The First Edition of the all-new Volvo XC90, which was only available for sale via digital commerce, sold out in 47 hours after it was released on Wednesday afternoon at 16.00 hours CET. Most of the 1,927 individually numbered cars were reserved within one hour from sales start. At its peak, 7 cars were sold every minute.

The 1,927 First Edition owners of this SUV will get a fully equipped car with uniquely numbered tread plates and a distinctive badge on the tailgate.

“The first buyers signed up for their favourite number in milliseconds. The rapid response confirms that the Volvo XC90 is a truly iconic car. The Volvo XC90 First Edition will be a collector’s item in the future,” said Alain Visser.

The Volvo XC90 First Edition is powered by a high-performance petrol or diesel engine from Volvo Cars’ new four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains. The engines are teamed with a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Volvo XC90 First Edition also features a black exterior and 8-spoke 21-inch inscription wheels combined with a very luxurious interior and offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry.

Priced at R1 050 000, a total of 23 Volvo XC90 First Editions were ordered by South African customers and are expected to arrive in May 2015 – about three months ahead of the rest of the all-new Volvo XC90 range.