As the year 2022 winds down to a close, and as we prepare for end of year activities, let me draw your attention to the topic of safety while you are in transit.
Yes, I am not surprised if you have not given this topic a thought, you are not alone, just stay with me as I share some tips that can help us get to our destinations safely.
The focus of this article is on security or safety while traveling by road.
Before the Journey:
It is important you think about the following questions:
- Must you make this journey?
- Can a phone call serve the same purpose?
For many that have not seen their loved ones for a long time, the answer to these questions could be emphatic yes.
If you must make this journey, also explore the various means of transportation to get you to your destination safely: By air, the waterways or by road.
If you must embark on the trip by road, pay attention to the following tips:
Check your vehicle condition before the you embark on the journey: Ensure that your vehicle is serviced; the engine is in good condition; the air condition system is working fine; the tyres are sound; and the wiper blades are in good condition.
Before you turn on that ignition key, is your license to drive still valid? Check that you have sufficient fuel in the car for your journey, ensure that items of high value are kept out of sight or in the trunk. Ensure all doors are locked and windows wound up.
Inform a close ally of your movement. Know the numbers to call in case of emergency and set up speed dial on your phone.
While in transit:
Be vigilant and take note of what is happening around you. Always scan your surrounding and the road ahead for any abnormal or unusual conditions such hasty movements of people, undue gathering of people. Observe what other road users are doing.
Certainly, it is not a wise decision to explore new routes on the day of your journey. Stick to the route that you know. Staying on the route that you are conversant with has the following advantages:
- Locations of bad portions of the road are known. This gives you ample time to analyse situation of things as you approach that point.
- Travelling through a familiar route allows you to make good decisions of when to take a break or to continue the journey to the next day.
- Flash points for security incidents are known and enables you to be cautious and observant.
While on a journey, avoid stops to buy items on the road – this can be dangerous; be mindful of traps such as fake accidents and faulty vehicles schemes.
Oh dear, number checkpoints these days are on the increase. How can one differentiate between authentic or fake checkpoint? Below tips may help:
- How the name tags are displayed – pinned or stitched to the uniforms, pinned/removable name tags call for high alertness.
- Identity number tag with less than six digits calls for worry.
- Identity number tag for female police officers starts with the digit “0”, any policeman with number tag starting with ‘0’ also calls for worry.
There could be other means of checking the authenticity of the officers at the checkpoint, the above list is just to spur your curiosity; do explore more on this as you plan your journey. Above all, be mindful of trigger-happy officers at the checkpoints.
Do not read text messages on your phone while driving.
Finally, avoid over speeding. Speed thrills but kills. Thanks for reading and safe trip always.