Wed | Dec 11, 2019

Car safety and Christmas

Published:Sunday | November 17, 2019 | 12:28 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Automotives Writer

‘Christmas is a-coming, and the goose is getting fat ...,’ goes an old song.

Christmas is around the corner, and the malls, shopping plazas, and parking lots are full to capacity. At this time of the year, shoppers seem to become so vulnerable. However, there are little things we can do to ensure the safety of our vehicles.

We were informed recently that 400 young soldiers who have recently been trained will hit the streets in short order.

“This will result in more snap raids, more patrols, more checkpoints, and, overall, more soldiers and police on the streets,” said Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant Rocky Meade.

But as the festive season approaches, motorists are advised by retired Senior Superintendent of Police Rupert Grey to “be alert, be aware of your surroundings, and take nothing for granted”.

He said: “Also ensure that your vehicle is properly locked and secured with the necessary security devices.”

However, even with all this in mind, motorists cannot be too careful or let their guard down.

TIPS

Tracy July, administrative manager of the Guardsman Group of Companies, shared some pointers for motorists.

1. Be aware of and check your surroundings while entering and exiting the vehicle.

2. Keep all car windows up while driving, especially in busy areas.

3. Always remember to safely lock your doors when driving (whether long or short distances).

4. Minimise cash transactions while buying from roadside vendors.

5. Do not drive, ride, or walk in dark, isolated areas unaccompanied, especially unfamiliar places.

6. Never drive with your purse or handbag or any other valuables on the front car seat or in plain sight. Instead, place them on your back seat while driving and in your trunk when you are out of your car.

7. Always check your rear-view mirrors and surroundings.

8. Never pull over when someone points at your motor car claiming that something is wrong.

9. Take note of your surroundings in a parking lot; be alert and aware. Look left, right, and all around. Take nothing and no one for granted. Never trust a stranger based on his appearance.

10. Never walk alone, especially at night. If it is late and you feel uneasy or are parked far from the entrance, ask a security guard to escort you to your car.

The North St Andrew Community Safety and Security Pamphlet offers some pointers on Car safety:

1. Do not leave car windows down or doors open. If you believe that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or into a well-lit and populated area.

3. Be alert at stop lights. Avoid being distracted.

4. When buying from street vendors, be alert to avoid items being snatched from your car.

5. Do not park your vehicle in lonely places where you could be pounced on by criminals.

A word to the wise is sufficient.