THE SAPS Outer North Cluster, in conjunction with other government departments and community organisations, embarked on a campaign on the N2 Tongaat Toll Road to raise awareness about rock-throwing over the bridges.
SAPS spokesperson in Tongaat Captain Patrick Ngwane said the police the exact cause of the stones being thrown onto the vehicles over the bridges was still being investigated
“These incidents have also led to physical injuries, damages to vehicles, and a loss in people’s lives utilising the Tongaat N2 Toll Road,” Ngwane said.
Representatives from the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, Metro police, Road Traffic Inspection, Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Programme, members of community policing forums, Expanded Public Works Programme, Sanral, safer cities, security companies, councilors, religious leaders from INK areas and Tongaat community leaders embarked on a campaign.
Religious leaders from different denominations started the campaign with a prayer to pay tribute to the people who lost their lives in stone-throwing incidents.
“Members present at the campaign together with the SAPS worked tirelessly in spreading awareness through the use of pamphlets being distributed to drivers and passengers on the road.
“A call is made for every individual to assist law enforcement in apprehending the perpetrators of crime and for motorists to be observant when approaching bridges throughout KwaZulu-Natal,” Ngwane said.
Motorists are advised to take the following precautions while driving:
• Be observant when driving under bridges.
• If the traffic allows it, switch lanes as you approach the bridge.
• Have emergency numbers on speed dial on your phone.
• Report any suspicious activity you witness on toll road.
• Do not speed.
• Avoid being busy on cell phones, it will delay your reaction to any incidents.
• Ensure children are strapped to a car seat.
• Ensure your vehicle is properly locked.
• Refrain from drinking and driving.
• Ensure that your driver is sober.
• Drive straight to the nearest police station upon being attacked.
The Cluster Commander Major General Lucas Ngobeni said fighting crime is a shared responsibility and that it is through action and partnership that crime and criminals can be defeated in our society.
Ngobeni encouraged community participation and support in the fight against crime and towards saving lives. He further assured that high visibility will be maintained and the police are working around the clock to arrest the perpetrators of crime.
“Regular patrols, road blocks, and stop-and-search operations will be conducted in the area with special focus on intensified police visibility on the N2 Toll Road and overheard bridges,” Ngobeni said.
Ward councillor Geoff Pullan said: “I heard that the deputy mayor [Fawzia Peer] proposed something to be done on the bridge, but it’s going to be difficult because it is not one bridge that is affected. I think the police must do more patrols on this bridge.”
Two children, aged seven and 16, died when a rock was thrown from the bridge on the N2 onto the car they were travelling in last month.
The driver, their father, escaped with minor injuries, and was rushed to hospital. Another alleged stone-throwing incident was reported at the Boys Town Bridge.
Motorists are advised to report all incidents on 10111 and Crime Stop number 08600 10111.