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Getting Around Town

When making your way around town, you can be vulnerable to certain criminal acts. Take the proper steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Couple Strolling with Bicycle

Walk Signal
When Walking
  • Plan the safest route to your destination and use it. Choose well-lighted busy streets and avoid passing vacant lots, alleys, or construction sites. Take the long way if it’s safest.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Keep a firm grip on your purse. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or side pant pocket. Don’t keep your wallet or keys in your back pocket.
  • Don’t flaunt expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Walk facing traffic so you see approaching cars.
  • Don’t burden yourself with packages and groceries that make it hard to react. Take a taxi or get a ride with a friend if you’re doing a lot of shopping.
  • Always have emergency cash for taxi fare, bus fare, or a telephone call.
  • Carry a phone charger with you in case your cell phone battery dies.
  • Have your car or house key accessible as you approach your vehicle or home. The more time you spend exposed while fishing items out of your pockets or digging through your purse, the more of a target you become.
  • If you suspect you’re being followed by someone on foot, cross the street and head for the nearest well-lighted populated area. Don’t confront the person(s).
  • If you are being followed by someone in a car, change direction immediately and make a visible point of writing down the license plate number or take a photo. Drive to a police station.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • Vary your route and stay alert.
When Taking the Bus or Subway
  • If you don’t have a vehicle or are choosing to rely on public transportation for getting around town, look up routes, schedules, and stops. Keep this information handy or download the application for your local public transit.
  • Map out the distance and cost between you and work, campus, shopping centers, restaurants, and other places you visit.
  • Before entering the bus or subway make sure you have all of your belongings and all pockets are zipped closed.
  • Try to use well-lighted and frequently used stops.
  • Don’t fall asleep. Stay alert!
  • In the subway, stand back from the platform edge. You may fall, or an attacker could push you onto the tracks.
  • Avoid sitting near the exit door. An attacker can reach in and grab a bag as the train pulls away.
  • While waiting, stand with other people or near the token or information booth.
  • If you are verbally or physically harassed, attract attention by talking loudly or screaming.
  • Be alert to who gets off the bus or subway with you. If you feel uncomfortable, walk directly to a place where there are other people present.
  • Before exiting the bus or subway, make sure you have all of your belongings.
When Taking a Taxi
  • Download an application to order a taxi by smartphone or look up the number. Taxis ordered by phone are safer than ones you hail off the street. A dispatcher will have a record of your name, number, the taxi number, and driver.
  • If you have a choice of taxi, pick the safest looking one. Taxi drivers typically work off a “first come, first serve” basis, but you can always say no. If you don’t feel safe, don’t get in.
  • Only take taxis that are clearly marked and have the driver’s license displayed.
  • If you are traveling with luggage, stay with your luggage until the trunk is closed and locked.
  • Before getting in, speak to the driver through the passenger window to make sure he or she knows where you’re going and how to get there.
  • Do not sleep in the taxi.
  • Let the taxi driver overhear your phone conversation in which you tell a friend that you’re in a taxi, where you’re headed, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Get out of the taxi if you suspect the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • When exiting the taxi, check to make sure you have all of your belongings.
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