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21 July 2011

Safety on public transport

For commuters, using public transport can be a life or death decision. So many people have lost their lives or items in these forms of transport.

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For commuters, using public transport can be a life or death decision. So many people have lost their lives or items in these forms of transport.

However there are safety guidelines in the public transport sector (trains, buses and taxis), and if a commuter follows them to the tee, he or she can feel quite safe and sound.

Train rides
A train station supervisor, who refused to be named, gave these guidelines as the most appropriate to stay safe while on board in the train:

Firstly, make sure you have a valid ticket in case something happens.  If you don’t have a valid ticket you cannot claim for compensation.

If the coach is empty, go to one where there are people.

Women should not board a coach carrying only male passengers.

Keep all you items in your bag and hold it tight.

Switch your cell phone off while you are still on the train and, if you have one, put it in your breast pocket

Stay clear from the door – do not lean against it while train is in motion

Do not open the door while the train is in motion and if the door doesn't close automatically, close it manually and step back after you finished.

Taxi rules

For taxis, the safety rules are different because taxis are smaller and can only fit a calculated number of people who are all seated.

Taxi driver Sithembiso Mlenze says to be safe in the taxi one would have to follow these guidleines:

If you are in the front seat, buckle up.

Put all your items on your lap.

Make sure you are comfortable where you are seated.

If the driver is travelling too fast, shout and tell him to slow down.

If he continues, you have a right to call the owner or the association the taxi is registered under.

Women should not board a taxi carrying only male passengers.

Bus safety guidelines

A source at Golden Arrow buses, also declining to give his name, says to be safe on the bus you will need to:

Sit still on your seat.

If you are standing, use the poles made for standing passengers and hold tight.

Switch your cellphone off and put it in your pocket.

Don’t stick your head outside the window and don’t lean against windows or doors.

Standing passengers should stand away from the door.

(Health24, Siphiwo Nkonki, July 2011)

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