In our country, the incidents of rape and female abuse just don’t come to rest. Today, we can’t even feel safe in on-call cabs, a convenience that women could have otherwise counted upon. If only the taxi service operators were more serious about ensuring the safety of female passengers!
Anyhow, the perverts and sick minded are out there in plenty and the best way to ensure your safety when boarding a cab is to be a smart passenger. Police, society and government? Let’s not wait for them to act. There’s no time. You know that.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Call family members or friends before boarding a cab
Make sure someone always knows where you’re taking the cab from and to where.
2. Ask for a photo id proof from the driver before boarding
Do not be shy, please.
You can ask for an ID – be it a cop halting your vehicle or an Indian Railways TT. Why not a taxi driver?
It could be his driving license, company ID or any other authentic ID proof.
And if you get a chance, click a picture of the photo ID and pass it on to a friend or family member on WhatsApp.
3. Start Using the GPS (Global Positioning System)
Always keep the GPS ‘On’ till you reach your destination. This is the best way you can be sure of the fact that the cab is taking you to your destination and not a secluded spot.
This is especially important if you take taxis during the night time. This is when taxi drivers often change routes to get to the destination quickly or if they have some evil intentions.
4. Take a picture of the Cab; don’t miss taking a picture of the Number Plate
It might sound a little embarrassing to take pictures of cabs all the time, but it’s a matter of your own safety. Click pictures and send them to family and friends.
5. Opt for busy routes, even if it takes longer to get there
Cab drivers often suggest shortcuts. Never agree to take these short cuts, especially if they pass through isolated patches.
6. Start using safety apps on your mobile; keep them handy
There are numerous apps that let you connect instantly with the police and other emergency services.
Some applications are: VithU: A Gumrah Initiative, iFollow-Ladies safety SOS, I’m Shakti, SafetiPin and spotNsave Feel Secure.
7. Use speed dial list for emergency calls
See that phone numbers of family members & close friends are there in the speed dial list. In case of emergency, you can press a button and get in touch with them within few seconds.
8. Cover up any revealing clothing; avoid wearing expensive jewelry
It hardly matters to those harboring sick thoughts in their crooked heads. But since your own safety might be at stake in their company, make sure you carry a stole or jacket to cover any revealing clothes while traveling by taxi.
9. When possible avoid boarding a cab alone
10. Be alert, don’t play candy crush
While you think there’s plenty of time to complete the next level of Candy Crush while travelling by cab, you’re mistaken. You’ve to be alert all the time on the road, especially if you’re alone.
use gps, take pic of the cabbie, keep calling friends, keep pepper spray handy,
call a family member before boarding, etc.