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Surviving Public Transportation

When on vacation or traveling abroad you want to avoid dying in a flaming auto wreck. The U.S. Government provides some tips to help you avoid such a fate. The following is excerpted from DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 10217: Security Awareness Overseas, An Overview [Bureau of Diplomatic Security - United States Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council].

For more travel safety tips check out the links on the right.

Have a safe trip!!

Public Transportation

Stay on your guard against pickpockets and petty thieves while in a bus/train terminal or at a taxi stop. Avoid carrying a wallet in your hip or easily accessible coat pocket. Carry a purse/handbag that you may firmly grip or secure to your body. Beware of people jostling you at busy stations.

Take only licensed taxis. Generally those found in front of terminals and the better hotels are the safest. You may pay a bit more, but the companies are more likely to be reputable and normally the drivers have been screened. Be sure the photo on displayed license is of the driver. Have the address of your destination written out in local language and carry it with you. Get a map and learn the route to your destination; note if taxi driver takes you a different or longer way.

Try not to travel alone in a taxi, and never get out in deserted areas. If the door doesn't lock, sit near the middle of the seat so you will thwart thieves who might open the door or smash a window to grab a purse, briefcase, or wallet.

On subways, choose a middle car but never an empty car. On buses, sit in an aisle seat near the driver. Stand back from the curb while waiting for a bus.

Avoid arriving anywhere at night and using dim or vacant entrances to stations or terminals. Utilize only busy, well-lit stations.

Take as little luggage as possible; ideally, no more than you can comfortably carry.

In-Transit Accommodations

Accommodations in many countries differ considerably from those found in North America and Western Europe. Safety features required in U.S. hotels, such as sprinkler systems, fire stairwells, and emergency lighting, often are either lacking or inoperable. The following measures will enable you to better plan for unforeseen contingencies in hotels.

[Source: The United States State Department]

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