What to do when the road is blocked due to a protest

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After there have been some recent incidents in which vehicles were damaged or almost damaged during protests in
the area, the Herald asked Mr Gerrit Bradnick of Gladiator Distress Alert about what people should do if they get
to a protest, whether in Merafong or in other areas.
Mr Bradnick is one of the emergency services personnel who attends the most scenes where people are injured in
the area. According to Bradnick, the first thing people should do if they arrive at a scene where the road is blocked by
protesters, is to immediately reverse, turn your vehicle around and drive away. If you, by some accident, find yourself almost next to the protesters you must just show your intent of not seeking confrontation by reversing and turning your vehicle around.
“These people do not have any problem with you. They are closing the road because they want to prove a point. It is
not worth your safety or even your life to get into a confrontation with them. You must under no circumstances try to
drive through them or around them on the closed road,” Bradnick told the Herald on Tuesday.
If it seems that you are the first to arrive at the scene of a protest, back away, turn around and call the police, your
own security company or the traffic department to let them know that there is a problem.
If you are on a road in another area and your find the road blocked due to a protest you can look on Google maps
or your GPS for an alternative road to your destination. It is also a good idea to look at a map of the area where you are going to before you depart so that you can already know of possible alternative routes to take in case something should happen.
“Most people nowadays have smart phones. Use it to find yourself another route,” says Bradnick.
Alternatively, turn around and drive back to the nearest safe place such as a filling station and wait there until you
think the protest might be over. You can also ask personnel for alternative routes.
If it should happen that your vehicle is damaged or you are injured in a protest, report the matter to your nearest
police station.
“It is however always better to be safe than sorry. It is not worth trying to save a few minutes by trying to drive through a protest if it means risking your life,” Bradnick warned.

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