[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n alert was issued by a biking group recently warning motorcyclists about an increase of hijackings in the Kempton Park area. Motorcyclists have been shot in the head and pushed off their bikes by motorcycle mounted hijackers.
Even though some of the hijackers have been caught it is still important for all bikers to take cognizance of the risk of a motorbike hijacking.
This is what you can do as a motorcyclist to protect yourself from a motorbike hijacking:
- Do not assume that all fellow bikers are friendly.
- If a biker pulls up alongside you with a pillion rider – keep an eye on them.
- Do not box yourself in – if that person starts to get off the bike, and there is an opportunity to safely pull off, you can.
- If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest safe haven or public place making sure you always have an escape route every time you stop.
Motorcyclists should also not believe they are invincible. All the tips which apply to drivers of cars also apply to them as well:
- Be aware. Take note of people who may be following you.
- Be wary of pedestrians by traffic lights or near your home or people standing around as you approach your motorbike.
- As you approach a red traffic light, slow down so that you avoid coming to a complete stop.
- Make sure your driveway is well-lit and clear of shrubbery.
- Do not always drive the same route every day. Where you can, alternate it.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, himself a biker, says motorcyclists need to be careful not to fall into the trap of believing that hijackings are something unique to cars and trucks. “It is this notion that makes them vulnerable to criminals. You also need to be as aware and prepared for a potential motorbike hijacking as what you would be in a car.
“It is near impossible to communicate over the noise of the bike and while you are wearing a helmet. As such bikers can also be even more vulnerable to injury if confronted with a hijacking situation. Consequently, motorcyclists need to make sure they always aware of what is happening around them and be ready to respond should you find yourself in this situation,” says Herbert.
To cater for this increasing phenomena MasterDrive have launched a bespoke training program to accommodate bikers. Together, we can work to create safer roads for all.