Tracker shows increase in vehicle activity during lockdown extension

There has been a significant uptick in vehicle movement in recent days, compared to earlier in the lockdown, according to info from Tracker and Lightstone.
There has been a significant uptick in vehicle movement in recent days, compared to earlier in the lockdown, according to info from Tracker and Lightstone.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Following an initial 75% reduction in vehicle activity for the first three days of lockdown, Tracker’s anonymised vehicle-tracking data - aggregated from the company’s installed vehicle base and analytics from Lightstone - indicates a significant uptick in vehicle movement at the end of last week.

Nationally, all types of vehicles saw substantially more trips towards the end of last week. However, passenger vehicle activity had the most notable change. From April 15 to 17, people did 40% of the trips they did before lockdown - a significant increase from only 22% of pre-lockdown trips done at the same time the previous week.

Stops at shopping centres and service stations also showed this uptick trend, almost doubling on Thursday last week from the prior week.

More citizens might be on the road as an ease in regulations allows for additional essential and urgent services during the extended lockdown period.

However, such a significant increase in vehicle movement over the past few days more likely indicates a negative shift in compliance to lockdown rules - particularly as the increase in movement started ahead of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s regulations amendments announcement. 

“The spreading of the virus is more likely with increased movement and interaction,” said Michael du Preez, product and marketing executive at Tracker South Africa.

“We appeal to people to continue to adhere to government’s call to stay home and only go out when necessary - for your safety and the safety of your fellow citizens.”

“It’s feasible that people had bought enough to get them through the initial 21-day lockdown,” said Linda Reid, head of data for Lightstone.

“However, with that period coming to an end, it’s possible that their supplies were running out - resulting in higher volumes of people needing to shop at the end of last week.”


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