Tag Archives: safety

women's hand presses on the remote control car alarm

Car jamming a trend in Cape Town, especially Durbanville!

We have advised our readers on car-lock jamming before, but now it’s becoming apparent that this is a trend in Cape Town – or more specifically – the Durbanville (Northern Suburbs) area.

At the monthly meeting of the Durbanville Community Police Forum (DCPF) last week Col Marius Swanepoel of the Durbanville police said there has been a few of these incidents reported in the business centre in the last three weeks.

Jamming is done with a remote control often very similar to the ones used to open entrance gates or garage doors. During these incidents, valuable items such as cell phones, cameras, handbags etc were stolen out of the vehicles.

The police officer said that the criminal will wait around in another car to wait for their victims. Rather take all valuables out of your car when you have parked. You should also check that your car is locked before you walk away as the jamming device works as you are locking your car.  The infrared signal interferes with that of your car’s remote control if you are locking your car at the same time – leaving your car unlocked.

Learn more about car-remote jamming here.





Road safety

The truth about road safety in South Africa

As the Arrive Alive online initiative is celebrating 11 years of its existence, we decided to pick the brain of Johan Jonck, the leader of this amazing safety initiative helping South Africans all over the country to stay safe on the road on a daily account.

What are the road safety stats?

The ”true” stats aren’t easily accessible, meaning the stats we think we have are quite misleading. This makes it very difficult for people to get an idea around road safety, such as the exact number of road deaths last year etc.

Are there any particular hotspots for hijackings, especially in the Western Cape, that Arrive Alive concentrates on?

Arrive Alive concentrates on the overall, meaning I try to provide timeless information on road safety. At any given point there are hotspots for some sort of crime pertaining to road safety and it differs in all provinces, for me it’s hard to give hotspots for the Western Cape as well.

What projects/goals are the most important to you?

I especially want to make people aware of small things that play a big role in safety awareness on the road such as the #BuckeUpBackSeat campaign. It’s not just the front passengers that need to buckle up, but actually also the backseat passengers and that is a road rule by law.

How do you think road safety can change and what needs to change for road safety to improve?

The problem is that everyone is doing the same things. People should approach road safety in a different way – not just the obvious precautions but take other precautions as well. For instance we are saying don’t take any calls while driving, but we must also stress the fact that you should not be calling someone if that person is driving. Rather say, ‘’I know you are driving, you should not have answered your phone, talk later.’’
There are five important rules regarding road safety, also known as the five e’s: Education, enforcement, engineering, encouragement and evaluation. All of these rules need to be implemented for road safety to change. I can only implement two of those rules; the rest is up to the road users and the government.

In your opinion, should the speed limit be lowered?
I would rather put it this way: we need to give more attention to the right speed limits in the right areas. Speed limits aren’t the real problem, the real issue is certain areas where speed limits are implemented incorrectly, or not obeyed – such as the highly dangerous roads. There should also be more attention given to moving objects than the speed limit. Overall the governing is enough, however the implementation is what is lacking.

Why would you say you are involved with Arrive Alive?

For me, road safety is a passion and I do it for the satisfaction of keeping people safe on the road. During the past year we experienced the drive and passion of those committed to saving lives and preventing injuries on our roads. There is a clear understanding in the traffic environment that the road carnage cannot continue and that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of all road users. If I can do everything to prevent bad things from happening on the road I would, but unfortunately that is not in my power and I can only provide online awareness.


The U-Turn: The most dangerous driving manoeuvre?

Arrive Alive reported that the U-Turn remains one of the most dangerous driver manoeuvres on roads worldwide. Paramedics respond daily to severe trauma from crashes that could have been prevented had it not been for the hasty decision to make a U-turn in traffic. But, why is the U-turn such a dangerous driving manoeuvre?

People often do not foresee the consequences that the U-Turn can have, which is often enough fatal as it is an unexpected driving stunt that usually does not allow time for the faster moving vehicle to change course and avoid an accident.

The U-turn is especially a risky move because the driver needs to cross lanes of traffic to complete the turn and it requires a street wide enough. It is also not always that easy to assume the speed of the oncoming traffic (that is if you can see them).

U-Turns are actually not legal in most locations and the first thing before you are about to make a U-Turn, you should ask yourself – Is it legal at this location? Just because there is no sign indicating that a U-turn is illegal, does not mean that it’s permitted. Arrive Alive states that U-Turns are not permitted at these areas:

-On a curve where approaching traffic from either direction cannot be seen for a distance of at least 150 metres.

-Within 30 metres of a railway crossing.

-Within 150 metres of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel where the view of traffic is limited.

-At undivided highways. A U-Turn is not legal on a controlled access highway except through an opening provided for that purpose in the dividing curb section, separation or line.

-U-turns are prohibited in no-passing zones and one way streets.

-In front of a fire station.

-At an intersection where there is a traffic light.

So, think again before you make that quick U-Turn next time, it might be the last turn you and your fellow road-user makes!

child death map

These child pedestrians stats will make you sick to your stomach

In the Western Cape 191 children were killed on the roads in the province, 127 were run over, and 90 of these child pedestrians were aged 10 years or younger. In recognition of this, the WC government has established a campaign, Safely Home, which will be driving the message that we can all play a part in bringing down the appalling rate of child road deaths, especially in our poorer communities.

The campaign has also released an interactive map of child pedestrians killed in 2014 so far. In average, 75% of the children aged ten years or younger who are run over and killed in the province are from the Metro area, and almost entirely from poorer communities. The worst affected areas are Khayelitsha, Philippi, Delft, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein-Wallacedene.

How can you help make child road safety better?

- If you have children who must use the roads frequently, for example to walk to school, you must ensure they are well versed in the rules of the road.

-As a driver, you can help keep children safe by never speeding, and making a deliberate point of slowing down where large numbers of children are present.

- Large numbers of children are also killed as passengers, very often as a result of not being buckled up properly. Always use an age appropriate child seat when transporting children by road.

- Parents must also ensure that child pedestrians wear high-visibility clothing.




Cape Town drivers, watch out for new speed cameras

As speeding continues to be one of the top causes of collisions and fatalities, the City of Cape Town has installed an average speed over distance (ASOD) system on Nelson Mandela Boulevard in its latest attempt to address speeding and promote road safety.


The installation of the system was approved by the City’s Camera Review Committee as it was considered to be the best measure to address speeding along this particular road, which is suitable for ASOD deployment. The installation of these systems is provided for in the City’s contract with Syntell, thus there is no capital cost to the City.


The cameras will become operational later this month and will measure the speed of all vehicles travelling inbound and outbound between the bottom of Nelson Mandela Boulevard and the N2 and M3. The system consists of three sets of cameras that will cover all of the incoming and outgoing lanes. The first set is on the footbridge over Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the vicinity of District Six; the second set is on the Main Road bridge over Settlers Way; and the third set is on the footbridge at Mostert’s Mill on the M3.

The ASOD system uses specialised cameras that accurately record each and every vehicle passing through their area. The cameras read the number plate of the vehicle and record the location, date and exact time. Another camera further along does exactly the same. The data and images of the vehicles are encrypted and transmitted to a computer. The two sets of data are then matched and, if the same vehicle passes both cameras, the time taken for the vehicle to cover the distance is calculated. A fine is generated for vehicles that travel the distance in a shorter time than that allowed by the speed limit.

‘What this means is that a motorist traveling to or from the CBD along the M3 will be monitored between the UCT footbridge and the footbridge over Nelson Mandela Boulevard, just before the Strand Street off-ramp. The same would apply to a motorist traveling in or out on the N2, from the Main Road bridge. Too often, motorists travel at speeds in excess of the legal limit in this area and we hope that the introduction of the system will result in greater compliance with the law – in line with our commitment to create a safe city,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.


Getting to know the real @Pigspotter

Anyone in South Africa who is a social media fanatic will have come across @Pigspotter warning them where the next ”porkie” is hiding, and where the bacon smell is coming from. After picking @Pigspotter’s brain regarding his personal safety tips for SA motorists, we also decided to dig deeper in to the void.

A while back there was quite a dispute as to whether @Pigspotter’s duties are legal, which turned into quite a controversy. There was talk of the Metro police actually ”hunting” @Pigspotter, and police told news stations that they were determined to get him arrested. “He will be arrested even if he stops tweeting now,” said metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar. “He can be charged with obstructing or defeating justice.” Of course, this did not stop him, and three years later he is still at it.

However, we’re not here to debate whether his actions are legal, good for road safety or not, but to turn the tables on him. As he states, ”Pigspotting is not about defeating the ends of justice, it’s about making South African motorists aware of the police presence on our roads.”

From your experience, what do you think are the most dangerous factors on the road? 

I would have to say poor driving. I see more and more cars on the road, with worse and worse drivers behind the wheels. Road surfaces were a problem at one stage, but that has improved. The public transport system, taxis, are ridiculous in the way they drive, and the nonsensical lack of action from the JMPD and EMPD leads to this behaviour worsening.

What is your story? How did you get into ”Pigspotting”?

Well, in the beginning, I only came onto Twitter for the live Fifa World Cup updates. I love how immediate it is and the social interaction THEN was awesome, everyone friendly, non judgemental and helpful. After the World Cup I stayed on social media. One day I became frustrated at how the cops continuously hid behind walls and rocks and trees in order to trap people for monetary gain. There was nothing that ensured road safety, especially if the guy is speeding at 130km/h in a 60km/h zone, gets trapped by a pork chop hiding behind a tree, and then 600 meters down the road he loses control and kills a couple kids crossing the road. What good did that trap do? None. So I decided to notify some people about traps and got information about traps and roadblocks and so it started. I was aiming for a nice small underground following of about 5000…. I superseded that in a month.

Do you sometimes get into trouble due to the ”Pigspotter” initiative?

I am no saint, I make mistakes, we all do. I sometimes get lost in a thought and then remember to take an offramp a little late and SAFELY cross over a solid white line. I have been pulled over for that infringement, typical that it’s one of the few times the cops are ever looking for such infringements, and I gladly accepted my fine and paid it. If I do the crime, I am happy to do the time and pay my dues.

Any tips for people on the road dealing with traffic officials?

Number one…. There is NO SUCH THING as a ‘Spot Fine’. It is called a bribe. If you pay it, you are as guilty as the corrupt pig requesting it and you are part of the problem and not the solution.
Number two…. Be respectful of the cops. You’ll never get anywhere with a bad attitude. Admit you were wrong and take the fine.
Number three…. Demand they give you the fine if you were in the wrong. Half the time they are to lazy to write the ticket and will let you off anyway.

Which city do you think has the worst drivers?

Johannesburg without a doubt. Cape Town drivers are so chilled and relaxed.

What are your pet hates on the road?

Taxis, parents who don’t buckle their children up, and assholes who speed up next to you to try cut in.

Do you ever get road rage?

More than I should. I hoot and flash my lights to let people know what I think of their rubbish driving. I have also stopped next to parents to ask them if they love their children or not.
I get infuriated, but I wouldn’t get out and break someones mirror or dent their door.

How do you get all the info for Pig Spotter?

A lot of it is what I see on the roads, I drive around a lot. Some is from WhatsApp groups with all the emergency services. Lots from other awesome followers who I recognise and trust. I even have my dad call me up and tell me about what he has spotted on the roads. It really is a group effort. I’m not like @TrafficSA who sits behind a computer all day and has information fed to it from other sources. I also like to add humour to make it more engaging. I like to see myself as a massively reliable source who tweets facts with integrity. I also like to see myself as ”The guy who speaks for the ‘little guy’ against the ‘big guys’”.

You can follow @PigSpotter on Twitter, visit his Facebook Page or check out the website. Also keep an eye out for WOW’s very informative interview with Pigspotter.