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OR Tambo shooting: what would you do?

The shooting of a person outside OR Tambo International Airport has left many South Africans in shock. No one more so than the drivers and passengers that were caught up in the terrifying experience. One thing many other drivers are asking themselves is what they would have done if gunshots suddenly started ringing out while they were driving in an area which is difficult to escape from.


According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, one thing that was clear in the video of the attack recorded by a motorist, is many people were paralysed by shock and fear. “When confronted with a situation like this, feelings of panic are inevitable. It is a normal human reaction.

“This is why it is so important to be prepared for these kinds of events before they happen. If we mentally have a plan of what to do if caught in a hijacking or a shooting crossfire, some logic may show through the fear. While we will never really know how we will react in a crisis, planning what to do beforehand, increases chances you will react automatically to protect yourself,” says Herbert.

What should you do?

The first thing to do when shots are fired is to find protective cover. “This can be behind a pillar or behind your car. Movie producers will have us believe that a shot can cause your car to explode but in reality the chances of this happening is near impossible. While seeking cover use the opportunity to call emergency services.

“Once you know you are safe, you can try and assist any victims if you have first aid experience. If the incident occurs in the road remember that the instinct of many will be to flee. As such always remember to put safety first. Don’t run into the road without checking, be aware of cars that may drive around victims to escape and even consider vehicles which may turn around and drive the wrong way down the road. The objective is to minimise injury or death as much as possible.”

One can never be truly prepared for something like this. All you can do is know beforehand what to do if it does. “One thing I am sure of is the tragedy of the event. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of the person who lost their life. It is incredibly difficult to understand such senseless actions,” says Herbert.

If you would like to find out more about what to do if caught in a hijacking, give MasterDrive a call on 086 110 0618 or

Photo credit

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa