Many of us use public transport to get to and from work, college, university, to pop to the shops or go out. Using the train, bus or grabbing a taxi is often a safer alternative than walking on your own late night. However, there are still a number of safety precautions that you can take to make yourself seem more confident and less likely to become a victim of crime.
Obviously, if you’ve been out drinking or clubbing until the early hours of the morning you may not think about keeping yourself safe whilst you’re making the journey home. But, it is important that you use your common sense to stop yourself becoming a victim of crime.
It’s not just about keeping yourself safe whilst you wait for a bus, the train or a taxi. You also need to be conscious of keeping yourself safe when you cross on level crossings.
Did you know?
- On average 60 people are killed each year on the UK’s rail tracks.
Level crossings, how should I use them?
If you’re walking over a level crossing, you should:
- Stop. If the amber light is on or the red lights are flashing.
- Wait. If the red light keeps flashing after a train has passed. Another train may be coming.
- Stop in a safe place until the barrier is raised and the lights go off – there will often be a white line showing you where to wait. Some crossings have tactile paving so the blind and partially sighted know where to wait.
- Keep children with you at all times.
- Keep dogs on a lead. Don’t chase them over the crossing.
Remember, you need to stay safe when you’re crossing a railway track. If you don’t do it properly you could be killed or have a horrific injury that you’d have to live with for the rest of your life. Ask yourself, is it really worth the risk?
What advice can you give me about using trains/trams/buses?
Here are some helpful hints to keep you safe whilst you’re waiting and using the train/tram/bus.
- Know where you are going and which stop you need. Check departure times, especially of last buses and trains.
- Try and have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so your purse or wallet is out of sight.
- If you are travelling late at night or in an unfamiliar area, try and arrange for someone to meet you at the bus stop or train station. Otherwise try to walk near other people with whom you feel safe, and walk purposefully to your destination.
- Wait for a bus/train/tram in a well lit place near other people whenever possible.
- Carry extra money in case you get stranded and need to take another bus, train, tram or cab.
- If a bus is empty or it is late evening, it may be safer to stay on the lower deck and sit near the driver.
- On trains/trams avoid compartments which have no access to corridors or other parts of the train/tram. Try and sit with other people. Avoid empty carriages.
- If you feel uneasy, move to another seat or carriage.
- If you feel threatened, make as much noise as possible to attract the attention of the driver or guard.
It’s not just buses, trains and trams that you need to be aware of. Getting into unlicensed taxis can also put you in danger. You need to be especially cautious if you ‘hail’ a taxi after a night out. Do you really know who’s driving you home?
What advice can you give me about staying safe using taxis?
Here are some helpful hints to keep you safe when you use a taxi:
- Always use a taxi or licensed mini cab.
- Do not get into a private hire vehicle unless you have pre-booked it through a registered company as you will not be insured should anything happen, and it would be difficult to track your whereabouts. You may however hail a taxi (usually a black cab) on the street.
- When in a taxi or a black cab take note of the drivers details which should be displayed on his/her badge along with their taxi number. To be extra safe you could text a friend or family member the details.
- When you arrive at your destination ask the driver to wait until you’re inside.