‘Highway Vultures’ follows four trucks through the weekend as they race to Johannesburg’s car accidents - an adrenaline fuelled, funny, frightening, always thrilling high speed chase.
The radio crackles as the call comes in. “Now the party, starts!” says Dries above the roar of his 3 litre turbo charged engine.
The speed limit is 60 kilometers per hour in the city, but Dries gets to over 140. He slows down for red traffic lights, but that’s about it. He doesn’t worry about the cops. He knows them all. It’s probably one of them who reported the accident to his dispatch. They get a R600 commission out of the R1800 towing fee. But only if he gets there first.. And he knows that the other crews are probably racing to the crash scene already. The Vultures are coming to feed...
Enter the sub culture of South Africa’s tow truck drivers – the nicotine and caffeine addicted characters who make a living towing wrecked vehicles away from accident scenes. These men stand watch though the night as the Johannesburg metropolis shows its deadly side – both in the city and in Soweto (South Africa’s largest township) where it’s strictly “locals only” when it comes to tow trucks. Mangled cars, burning vehicles, horrific injuries, traumatised and usually drunk accident victims are the norm. The tow trucks get there first, before the ambulances or the cops. A tow truck driver’s first aid can be the difference between life and death. Could there be a heroic, even a soft heart beneath their harsh exteriors?
South Africa has one of the highest road death tolls in the world. Bad road surfaces, inadequate road markings, corrupt traffic police and a culture of drunk driving is a recipe for disaster.
And disaster is what the Highway Vultures are waiting for.
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