“Throw the book at rock throwers!”

“Throw the book at rock throwers!”

Every now and then an incident of rock throwing – from the side of the road and off overhead bridges – emerges, terrorising motorists and causing the risk of accidents, serious injury and even death. The latest bout has indeed resulted in the latter.

According to reports, the latest incident occurred earlier this week in Glen Anil, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Automobile Association (AA) has added its voice to the growing wave of concern surrounding these incidents.

“These attacks – because this is how they must be viewed – are barbaric and cowardly. Throwing rocks off bridges onto vehicles below is extremely dangerous and can, as we have seen, cause death and severe injuries to the driver and passengers of the vehicles,” states the Association.

The AA says that, while there is no perfect solution to dealing with a rock being thrown onto a vehicle, the following tips could be useful:

  • If possible, avoid driving on roads known for rock throwing;
  • Be alert to movement on a bridge before you drive under it;
  • As far as possible, drive during daylight hours when it is easier to see the environment around you;
  • If there are passengers in the vehicle, ask them to check for any movement on the bridge;
  • If you are the victim of a thrown rock, try and remain as calm as possible while assessing the situation around you;
  • Pull off to the side of the road, once it is safe to do so, to check on damage to your car;
  • Contact police and emergency services immediately.

“There is a practice to change lanes immediately before entering a bridge to avoid becoming a victim. This may work if there is no other traffic around, and you are able to move freely between lanes. However, this is problematic if there are other drivers nearby who have the same idea.

“Stick to the speed limits, always obey the rules of the road, and always be vigilant about what other drivers are doing,” suggests the AA.

The Association says authorities in areas where rock throwing has occurred have a duty to deploy extra personnel on bridges, and to follow up on all complaints received.

“The re-emergence of rock throwing is scary and despicable. Everything must be done to track down the culprits and, once in custody, they must not be spared the full extent of the law,” the AA concludes.

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