Cape Town – More than 100 Cape Town Metro Police and SAPS officers were deployed on Tuesday morning to seven N2 on-ramps and off-ramps, in a safety drive to warn motorists of the dangers of pulling over on the notorious national road.

Special focus has been placed on the highway after a number of attacks have taken place on the roadside, among them the recent murder of a police officer who pulled over to change a tyre.

Warrant Officer Petrus Holz, who was attached to the Hawks, was killed in July while driving to work in the early hours of the morning.

The officer was in an unmarked car and stopped his vehicle near Macassar, where he was accosted and stabbed by two assailants.

Pamphlets containing safety information and important contact numbers were distributed in the collaborative effort, the City of Cape Town said in a statement.

Motorists were warned that it is against the law to stop along freeways and that they could be fined R500 for pulling over unless in an emergency or because of a breakdown.

“The reality is that motorists do pull over, for example to answer their cellphones, and we want to remind them that it is not only illegal to do so on a freeway, but given the safety issues on the N2 in particular, they are also putting themselves at risk,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith.

“Our camera operators alert patrol vehicles to stationary vehicles and if it is someone pulling over to take a call, we’re potentially diverting resources away from someone who is really in need of assistance.”

Motorists were also reminded to ensure their vehicles were mechanically sound and have enough fuel ahead of their journey, Smith said.

“It seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve had scores of incidents where motorists get stuck without petrol or where they have had a mechanical breakdown, which makes them vulnerable.

“There is no doubt that there are shortcomings that need to be addressed to improve safety on the N2 like lighting, repairs to fencing and clamping down on pedestrians crossing illegally, but this is a shared responsibility and motorists need to understand that they too have a role to play in ensuring their own safety.”

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