Car tracking system launched

Ngoni Chanakira

A CAR tracking system, worth $3,9 million, was last week launched by vehicle security firm Car Guard (Pvt) Ltd.


The

system, known as Car Track, was designed by some of the most experienced players in the vehicle tracking industry to provide an affordable and effective alternative to existing tracking systems.


Purchase of the Car Track unit, inclusive of installation and activation, is $3 948 360.


Customers make quarterly subscriptions of $381 225, payable at time of unit installation and quarterly in advance thereafter.


Transfer of the unit to another vehicle costs $172 500 and a reactivation fee of $331 500 is also payable.


“The Car Track system represents the most realistic chance to recover a stolen or hi-jacked vehicle,” a spokesman for Car Guard said. “Car Track have studied existing problems in the vehicle tracking market and have identified key defective areas. It is understood that these factors drastically reduce the chance of recovering your vehicle, hence it has been ensured that the system will never suffer these ailments.”


He said a device was installed into an individual’s vehicle.


“This device gives positioning and status information relating to the vehicle in which it is installed,” he said. “The system uses the GSM networks for tracking. A radio homing beacon is attached to the in-vehicle unit that enables response teams to track stolen vehicles in any remote places thieves may try to hide them.”


Some of the features of the Car Track system include the ability to locate the vehicle outside the network coverage area, early alert system in a theft scenario, ability to cut the fuel supply in the vehicle, as well as ability to locate vehicles outside Zimbabwean borders.


The unit has a rechargeable battery back up in tracking device and free testing of tracking device once a month.


Some of the benefits of the Car Track system include 24-hour stand-by recovery teams, free recovery of vehicle within Zimbabwe in cooperation with the ZRP if stolen or hi-jacked, control of one’s asset from unauthorised usage, as well as reduced insurance premiums depending on the insurer.


The unit also has 24-hour monitoring of vehicles by means of an advanced control centre and immediate automated notification of events or incidents from the vehicle itself.


Zimbabwe had a national record of 1 051 reported cases of car theft by the end of December with Harare topping the list at 633, according to ZRP spokesperson Inspector Andrew Phiri.


The country’s second largest city Bulawayo followed Harare with 226 cases.


Phiri said statistics for other provinces were as follows – Manicaland 25, Mashonaland 22, Mashonaland East 32, Mashonalnd West 43, Masvingo 14, Matabeleland North 2, Matabeleland South 20 and Midlands 27.


The high level of car thefts resulted in the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) hosting a stakeholder’s conference in Nyanga on May 10 and 11.


Cars have also been stolen from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and South Africa and later resold in Zimbabwe.


Luxury vehicles including BMW’s, Mercedes Benz and 4X4’s such as Prados, MLs and XR7s are the most popular as they sell faster and command a cash market.


Stakeholders from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Finance and Economic Development, car insurance companies, anti-hijack unit, the ZRP, Interpol, security companies, car protection companies, motor vehicle manufacturers, the media and members of lobby groups that fight against crime attended the ICZ conference.


Among other suggested factors leading to the increase in the rate of crime, ICZ cited the current economic conditions prevailing in the country as the major contributor to the high levels of crime in Zimbabwe.


The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Amos Midzi, who was guest of honour at the launch of the unit, said crime was generally on the increase in Zimbabwe.


He said car theft was a worrying and traumatic factor because the car-jackers were becoming very sophisticated.


Car jackers are now armed and even conduct their criminal activities in broad daylight. Midzi said Zimbabweans should not “harbour criminals in their homes”.