MOTORING NEWS - With crime constantly on the rise, it’s important to understand how to keep yourself as well as your family safe whenever you are on the road.
A total of 16,717 cars were stolen between April 2016 to March 2017 a report by the national crime statistics states.
Opportunistic car thieves often take advantage of an easy target – make sure you aren’t one of them. From locking your car at all times to auto window tinting, you can help prevent crime against you and your vehicle while on the road and at home with these tips:
- Do not leave important documents or personal information in the car. It can lead to identity theft. A good idea is to also install at least one anti-theft device such as a lock for the steering wheel, brakes, tyres, and/or bonnet to deter thieves.
- Car window tinting can help to reduce the temptation to break in because it makes it more difficult to see inside your car. Don’t go too dark, however, as even with window tint your vehicle must comply with the National Road Traffic Act 93 Of 1996, which mandates that the visible light transmittance through the windscreen is at least 70 percent, and at least 35 percent through any other window.
- Use paint or a permanent marker to write the vehicle identification number (VIN), under the bonnet, battery and in the boot for tracking purposes.
- Turn your wheels slightly towards the pavement when parked on the street or toward another car if you are in a parking lot or garage. This makes it more difficult to steal by towing.
- When you return home, if you have a garage, park your car in it. Lock the doors and close the windows, too.
- Never hide keys in a “secret” spot because thieves know them all; and definitely do not leave an extra set in the car.
- Secure valuables in the boot before you start your trip so that they are out of sight of smash and grab thieves while you drive, and so that once you reach your destination thieves do not see you moving them inside your car to the boot.
- Finally, when you are heading out the door, resist the temptation to “warm up your car”. Leaving a running car unattended is like putting out a welcome mat to an opportunistic thief.