Safety Tips When Walking on the Streets

From the Editor: Days are getting longer, temperatures are rising (or trying to) and naturally, this results in larger numbers of Northern Ontario residents taking advantage of getting regular exercise outdoors. In my community, Manitouwadge, I’ve definitely notice a rise in the numbers of people I see out walking in recent weeks – in spite of the messy conditions on local roads.  The Ontario Provincial Police Northwest Region Headquarters have taken note of this also and offer the following safety tips to ensure your next walk is enjoyable and safe.

walkWith the daylight continuing to get longer every day, the Ontario Provincial Police, (OPP) remind the public to be aware of their surroundings when out walking,

  • Walk with a purpose: Project an assertive image that conveys you know where you are going (even if you are lost – pretend);
  • Avoid isolated areas such as parking lots, garages and alleyways; stick to well-lit, high-traffic areas;
  • Keep a distance: Don’t let people get too close, even if they appear to have a reason, such as asking for the time;
  • Dress so you can move with ease: Consider wearing clothing and shoes you can move quickly in;
  • Pack light: Take only what you need, overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable;
  • Being followed by a person: If you think you are being followed, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, lighted house or an area with other people. Don’t be embarrassed to yell for help;
  • Being followed by a car: If a car follows you, slows down, or beckons to you while walking, do not approach it. Turn around and quickly walk in the opposite direction; it is never a good idea to accept rides from strangers.
  • Tell others where you are going and when you are expected to arrive / return. Arrange to check in with them if you like;
  • Talking on the phone: If you must talk on the phone while walking, don’t get lost in conversation. Pay attention to traffic, people around you and where you are going. STAY ALERT! Also keep in mind the information you may be inadvertently giving out when talking on your phone; others can hear your conversation.

 

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