Whether you live in the city or suburbs or even a rural area, there are times when you travel by public transport. In urban areas, many of us follow a daily ritual of hopping on a bus, catching a cab or boarding a train.
When these activities become routine, we have a tendency to get comfortable. We may forget all about the importance of personal safety or push it to the back of our mind. After all, you do this every day and nothing bad has happened yet. So why bother now? Well, all it takes is a few seconds and an unforeseen danger can change the rest of your life!
Here are some safety measures that you must always follow while using public transport.
1. Avoid isolated bus stops. Get aware of the bus schedule.
2. Don't open your purse or wallet while boarding a bus. Instead, keep the fare amount/pass ready in hand.
3. Stay alert and be aware of the people around you. If someone bothers you, change seats.
4. If you are travelling late at night, it's important to know the time of the last bus or train so that you do not become stranded and vulnerable to attack.
5. Thieves are less likely to strike in well-lit areas so make sure that you catch your bus or train from a properly illuminated spot. This could mean using a station or bus stop further away so plan your route carefully.
6. Be sure not to speak out your address in public places and if you answer your mobile phone in a bus or train simply answer "hello" rather than giving away your name.
7. Most criminals are cowards so if you are attacked making as much noise as possible could scare off the perpetrator.
8. If a driver makes you feel uncomfortable you should select another taxi.
9. As you get seated, look around for the emergency buttons and exits. In a panic situation you will know where to go quickly.
10. Stay alert to your surroundings and limit your conversation to general topics.
11. If you don't want your home address known, get the cab to stop a few houses away from your destination.
12. When you leave your bus or taxi don't walk home alone in the dark.
13. A legitimate taxi driver or rickshaw driver will have a badge displayed, so take a quick look around before you get in. If you don't see such identification, don't use that vehicle.
14. Take note of the logos and colours of local transportation even if you don't need one immediately. This will help you spot the ones that are legitimate and those that are fake later.
15. You may be tempted to read a book, check your messages, or take a quick nap on public transportation, but that's the perfect way to have your wallet, camera, backpack and other stuff stolen. Plus, you could end up in a strange place at the end of the bus line with no way to get back if you sleep too long!
16. Sharing a cab or autorickshaw is a common way to save a little money, but spare a thought to the fact that you will be with a stranger who may or may not have the best of intentions.
17. Let someone know your routine or travel schedule. If you don't contact them when expected, they will have an idea where to start looking for you.
18. Always remember if you are calling a cab from a public place to make sure that you cannot be overheard by strangers as this could give away your address.
19. When you reach your destination always have your keys ready to get into your house or flat before you get out of the taxi or auto.
20. If there is a problem with your taxi or auto you should always report the problem to the police you may help protect future passengers.