Telematics' effect on vehicle theft


The crime stats were released this week and on a positive note, crimes involving the theft of vehicles have decreased by 1.8%.

Location telematics
Image Supplied by Legratron Electronics

If one considers the numbers, however, this is only a decrease of 299 cars. There were still 16 026 vehicles stolen during the last financial year.

On average, the stats suggest that almost 44 cars are stolen every day in South Africa. As a result, the tracking and telematics industry continues to grow significantly as it provides one of the best defences against the burgeoning criminal industry in the country.

The managing director of Legratron Electronics, Itumeleng Matshego, says much technology and development has gone into combating vehicle theft in South Africa.

“The industry has progressed to the extent that successful recoveries do not only depend on the driver informing us that their vehicle has been stolen or hijacked.

“Instead, monitoring of your normal driving behaviour, can immediately send alerts when the system determines that a potential hijacking has occurred. If the system detects a change in your driving style, an alert is sounded. Additionally, we make use of geo-fence technology to determine when a car enters a high-risk area or when the vehicle moves outside of pre-defined areas.”

Insurance companies have acknowledged the potential of tracking units to reduce the loss of vehicles on the economy and the individual.

“Many make it mandatory to have a tracking system installed as a result. Legratron works with numerous insurers who provide various benefits, including premium reductions, to individuals who have tracking units.”

As vehicle telematics becomes more advanced, it becomes more difficult for criminals to evade the tracking and recovery of their targeted vehicles.

“Admittedly, an unfortunate side effect of this, is that people are increasingly being taken with their vehicles when they are hijacked. This leaves many South Africans asking, what should I do if this happens to me?

“We have taken a number of steps to discourage this from happening. We ensure that people do not know where their tracking units are installed and make this bit of information common knowledge. If the drivers do not know where the units are, then they cannot assist the criminal in locating it.”

Despite our best efforts, however, a guarantee can never be provided.

“Whether this happens as a result of the tracker or for another purpose is difficult to determine and each is just as likely as the next. In either scenario, however, the important thing is that you know what to do and how to respond. There are various anti-hijack courses on the market that could be life-changing should you encounter this traumatic scenario.”

Telematics has had a major impact on the theft of vehicles in South Africa.

“Cars are recovered every day and should you ever be hijacked, yours could be one of these,”

says Matshego. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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