‘Tis the season to be jolly, a time of merry-making, food, family gatherings and more, which means an increase in spending, social activity and crowds. Unfortunately, this is also a season when crimes such as pickpocketing and drunk driving spike, as people’s guards are down. This Tip Thursday, we share some information from the police to help you have a safe, incident-free holiday season.
- Be on the look out for pickpockets and grab thieves.
- Encourage fellow commuters to form a line when boarding the bus. Thieves operate best when there is disorganisation.
- Avoid wearing jewellery or carrying large sums of money on you.
- If a fellow passenger is displaying a special interest in you or making unnecessary and frequent body contact, deliberately change your position.
- Plan your route, particularly at night.
- Avoid short cuts, alleys, vacant lots and dark and lonely streets. Avoid walking alone.
- If you suspect that you are being followed by a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction. It takes time to turn a motor vehicle around. Use the time to run and be sure to scream if the threat increases. If you do not have a strong voice, carry a whistle.
- A dangling handbag is an invitation to snatchers. If carried in this way and someone grabs it, the contents are likely to spill. It is therefore advisable to carry your purse upside down with the flap to the body and hand on latch.
- Do not walk around with large amounts of money. Credit cards are becoming popular and they are safer and more convenient to carry and offer no attraction to robbers.
- Do not resist an armed robber. It is better to lose your purse than your life.
- If attacked, try to take a good look at your assailant so that later you can provide the police with a description. Look out for characteristics that are outstanding such as a scar, a beard, hairstyle, etc. Do not fail to notice general appearance such as height, built and complexion.
- Walk briskly and in a businesslike manner.
- If you are taking a cab on the street, hire registered cabs, preferably those with company markings. Registered cabs bear red plates.
- Develop the proper attitude in applying the brake. The pressure on the pedal should be gentle under normal circumstances.
- Remember, both hands are to be on the steering wheel unless changing gears, giving signals or operating an auxiliary switch.
- Always back up lamp signal with some other signal where practical.
- Use your horn when necessary. It notifies other road users of your presence on the road.
- Drive at nights with the beam that is safe. When meeting opposing traffic, dip your lights.
- If you are hit by a high beam, do not look directly into them; instead cast your gaze to the left aside or stop if it becomes necessary.
- Do not drive if you are tired. This affects your concentration and reaction time and accidents are likely to occur.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A hot drink or cold shower cannot sober you faster than time.
- Do not park your vehicle in such a position that it causes an obstruction to other traffic and pedestrians.