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NPPD Crime Prevention Tip:

Summer Vacation


With the closing of school in the next several weeks we will be in the midst of the summer vacation and travel season.   Travel will take place by plane, train, and automobile. The family summer vacation by car is a popular part of our culture.  Prior to embarking on your vacation, near or far, no matter what the means of conveyance, take time to plan your journey and implement common sense safety precautions. 

First consider how your residence will appear while you are away.  Take steps to see that mail and newspapers don’t build up in your absence.   An uncut lawn may be interpreted by a prowler that the residence is vacant.  Have garbage cans been empty for a prolonged period of time? or left with recycling buckets at curbside for longer then usual?  On both long and short trips lights should be set to come on and off with sensors or timers.    Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an extra check on your residence.  It may be advisable to have someone maintain your lawn on a prolonged trip.  Let a neighbor park their car in your driveway so that it does not remain vacant the entire length of the trip. 

For trips by car, check the route by internet map, or bring along a paper map with the route outlined.  Be sure someone knows your destination, and approximate time of arrival.  Prior to leaving inspect your vehicle for fluids and tire condition.  Remain aware of your location, on a long trip by interstate highway, it’s possible for your mind to wander, losing track of where you are.  In an emergency, not being sure of your location could delay the response of public safety personnel.  Never allow yourself to become involved in a road rage incident.  Common courtesy should prevail. Should someone make rude gestures or shout obscene things at you, don’t escalate the situation by responding in kind.  The other person may respond with violence.  If you think your safety may be jeopardy contact the local authorities. 

At airports, train stations, and bus depots never leave your bags unattended, someone may be intent on taking them.  Consider that someone bumping into you or starting a conversation may be a distraction.  Keep your tickets in a safe place such as an inside breast pocket.   Travel belts and pouches are available that hold valuables and are worn under regular clothes.  Don’t display expensive jewelry or watches.  Consider a cheap watch for traveling that will not attract unwanted attention. 

If you own a cell phone bring it.  Consider the strength and duration of the battery prior to your departure.  While making calls, you have an obligation to be safe, don’t drive in New Jersey while using your cell phone, it is unlawful, and it is banned in other jurisdictions as well.  Remember a cell phone will allow you to contact local authorities in an emergency.  The cell phone is a vital communications link, but not a panacea.  It should never be used for idle chit-chat while operation a motor vehicle.  Be safe, if you have a passenger designate them as the communications commander. 

If your health depends on prescription medication consider that in your planning.  What would be the consequences if you were separated from the medication?  Could you be isolated by inclement weather?  Does anyone know where you are? Plan accordingly!  In the same vein, many experienced travelers bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses.    We hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable vacation season!