Tips for motorists unexpectedly caught in the middle of unrest.

By Drum Digital
23 June 2016

Arrive Alive (AA), government roadsafety association, has issued out some advice for drivers who fear their cars could be destroyed during civil unrest in South Africa.

By Ayanda Sitole

With the increasing number of violent protests, many have found their homes and cars burnt down.

“If you are aware of unrest near you, monitor media and social media, listen to radio reports and traffic updates, and, if you have it, use the live update function on your GPS device to steer clear of these areas. The best way not to become part of any unrest situation is to not be there in the first place,” says the association.

The South African Police Service has advised motorists to be vigilant at all times, and, if you need to, engage with the protestors to let them know you are no threat to them, and are merely trying to pass through.

Here are tips for motorists unexpectedly caught in the middle of unrest.

  1. Stay in your car as long as possible
  2. Unbuckle your seatbelt, and those of any passengers, to be prepared to exit your car quickly
  3. Keep your car moving as far as you can, whilst checking for possible escape routes
  4. Avoid hitting any protestors with your vehicle as this may turn the mob against you
  5. Do not taunt the protestors by shouting, gesticulating or hooting at them
  6. Remain as calm as possible to ensure you are aware of what is going on around you
  7. Seek assistance or safety from the police as quickly as you can. If you do not see the police, call them.
  8. Listen to police instructions
  9. If you are stuck and the situation seems to be getting worse, leave your car and get out of the area on foot. Remember your life is more valuable than your car or any possessions inside
  10. Once you are personally safe (with or without your vehicle) call family or friends to let them know where you are, and what is happening.

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