Fleet and mobile asset management solutions provider MiX Telematics has released statistics that indicate that the Covid-19 lockdown has had a positive effect on vehicle crime and road-related incidents, owing mainly to the 74% decline in vehicle use and heightened police visibility during the initial lockdown period.
As expected, the restriction on public movement and alcohol consumption resulted in certain types of crime reducing.
Insights from MiX data show that vehicle theft and hijacking incidents were down by 76% during the lockdown.
There was a 70% decline in alerts on the Matrix tracking platform for vehicles entering high-risk zones, border alerts and GeoLock alerts.
Trip data from Matrix motorists show that 53% were driving distances less than 5 km during the lockdown, with the number of motorists driving further than 20 km halved during the lockdown.
Gauteng saw the highest compliance with the lockdown if considering trip data, at a reduction in trips of 65%, followed by the Western Cape (61%) and the Free State (56%).
Data from commercial vehicles being monitored showed a significant decline in truck accidents, with a 66% reduction, and also in panic alerts by truck drivers, with a 52% reduction.
Other driving event alerts like entering no-go border zones, dashboard tampering and disconnected power also declined.
MiX monitors almost 600 000 vehicles in South Africa, of which 250 000 are commercial vehicles.
The company has a large number of clients that deliver fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and other essential products.