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Travel Safe Personal Safety Advice from Brooks Jordan Training

Last time we wrote about staying safe when travelling by car this post we’ll focus on the do’s and don’ts of taking taxis.

Most people will only take a taxi when for some reason they can’t use another form of transport either because it’s not convenient for public transport or having had a drink, driving would be illegal and probably unsafe as well.

So let’s think about the combination of factors which can add to the risk of taking a taxi –

  • You’ve had a drink and so may not be as clear or focussed as you would be when sober
  • It’s dark, it may also be raining and hence passers-by are less likely to observe you, the vehicle you get in to and certainly not the taxi driver.
  • You’re getting in to closed box that can take you pretty much anywhere with a complete stranger.

All of this adds up to a perfect storm of risk for the unprepared or the unwary.
So how can you make taking a taxi safer?

  • The best protection you can have is to travel with friends – remember the old adage ‘safety in numbers’. Not only does this reduce the cost it’s unlikely a lone driver will try anything with a group of you.
  • Speak to your Student Union. Usually they can recommend a cab firm or may have an agreement with a local firm to take student’s home even if they have run out of cash (more on this later).
  • Use the recommended firm and book your taxi well ahead of time. Ask who will be collecting you and give a name to the firm so you know it really is your driver when the cab turns up.
  • Before you get in ask who they have come to collect – check it is your cab.
  • Ask the driver for his details

Get on your phone (or pretend to) and ring someone – your conversation goes like this –

You – ‘Hi Dad, (Dave). Yes I’m just leaving now, yes of course it’s a proper firm – its (give name of firm).

Pause to listen – imagine Dave (or your Dad) asking you for the name of the driver.

You – ‘The driver?’  Turn to the driver.  ‘Sorry it’s my Dad (boyfriend) he wants to know your name and number’.

At this point the driver should give you his name.

You – ‘The driver’s name is Pete and his number is KH54DEY.  Yes I’ll be about 15 minutes.’

Turning to the taxi driver ‘Pete I’m really sorry about that – my Dad (Dave) does the doors and he’s just over protective’.

Now – instead of thinking you’re an easy victim in a locked moving box, your driver thinks there’s someone at your destination expecting you to arrive within 15 minutes and that person has all the details they will need to alert the Police if you don’t turn up at the appointed time.

So you’ve run out of money and don’t have the fare to get home – now what do you do?
Sheffield Hallam Union have a great scheme. With one of their approved firms you can hand over your Student Union card in lieu of payment. The next day the taxi driver takes the card to the Union who pay your fare. You get a message from the Union to come in to collect your card and pay what is owed in return for your card. Maybe your Union has a similar scheme – why not call in and find out.

Want to know more about Personal Safety courses for Students from Brooks Jordan? Speak to us on 01623 407793 or visit our website at for more safety tips or to book training.


Follow Brooks Jordan on Twitter for the next Travel Safe installment on taking public transport.

Travel Safe Advice from Brooks Jordan Training

Although nights are now getting lighter there are still a few weeks yet before we’re into spring  so with this in mind we thought it a good time to remind readers of ways to maintain their personal safety when out and about.

Plan your journey – when you leave for an evening out think about how you get home again – are you using your own car, a taxi, public transport or will you be walking?

Travelling by Car

While travelling by car is likely to be the safest mode of transport it is not without risk.  Consider the following –

  • Where you park your car is where you will later retrieve it from – try to avoid leaving it in badly lit areas, or next to anything that might provide someone a hiding place.
  • Look out for broken glass on the side of the road – a sure sign that criminals are operating undisturbed – maybe when you get back to your car your windows may have been broken – or worse still someone could be lying in wait for you.
  • When you approach your car observe it from a distance – check that no one is near it – THINK – the person trying to get in to the car next to yours – are they really having problems with their keys or could they be waiting for the sound of your car doors opening so they can jump in beside you?
  • Have your keys ready – if you have central locking/unlocking make sure you only activate the button when you are close to your car and ready to jump in – operate it when you are metres away from your vehicle and you advertise the fact that this is your car and you have the keys.
  • When you get into your car – do you always lock your doors straight away?  You should – and should also drive with your doors locked in slow moving traffic – unlock them when you get out on to the open road when your speed increases.

So you are unfortunate – someone has jumped into the passenger seat – what will you do to get him out and get home safely?  How would you handle this risk?

Follow Brooks Jordan on Twitter for the next Travel Safe instalment on taking taxis.

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