Travel safely - going out alone or with friends
travel; safety; safe; bus; train; tram; transport; travelling; public; timetable; ticket; passenger;
Waiting for transport
Many kids nowadays get very few chances of travelling on public transport as they are taken to and from school by car.
You may get to go to the movies, the Mall, the beach or another town during the holidays and this can seem quite an adventure.
Here are a few tips to help you out if you have never travelled by yourself before.
- If you are travelling on a tram, train or bus then it's a good idea to check out a timetable so that you can be a few minutes early and not racing at the last minute, when you may not be as careful as I'm sure you usually are. You can look them up on the internet if you don't have a timetable handy.
- Buy a ticket beforehand or have the right money ready to get a ticket.
- If you are in a dark or lonely place waiting for transport then stand where you can be seen from the road.
- Stay well away from the edge of the pavement if you are waiting for a tram or bus, or the edge of the station platform if you are going by train.
- Don't fool around with friends or practise ball skills while you are waiting.
- Stay well back until the bus, tram or train has stopped.
- Check that it's going where you want to go. There is a destination board on the front of all public transport.
- Wait until people have got off before you try to get on.
- Get on sensibly and quietly without pushing anyone.
- Put schoolbags or backpacks under your seat so that they are not a danger to anyone, or hug them on your lap.
The driver of the transport is like the captain of the ship. He or she is responsible for the safety of all passengers.
- Treat the driver with respect. (It's good manners to say "Thank you" as you get off.)
- You have to follow the directions of the driver or train guard.
- Stay in your seat.
- Hold on to the handrails if you are standing, getting a ticket or getting ready to get off.
- Keep your bag between your feet on the floor if you are standing up.
- Don't put anything or any part of your body outside the window.
- The driver or guard has every right to put people off the transport if they are behaving in an unsafe or threatening way.
- If you are feeling unsafe go and tell the driver or guard what is happening.
- Treat other passengers with respect.
- Offer your seat to an older person, an adult with a very young child, a pregnant woman or someone with a disability. (Take care that you hold on to handrails when you stand.)
- Don't hang out around the doorways as this makes it hard for people to get on or off.
- Wait until the vehicle has stopped before trying to open the door.
- Be patient and don't push.
- Help anyone who may need help, eg. a mum with a pusher.
- Don't try to keep doors open if they are closing, push the stop button if you need them to open again.
- Check for traffic if you are on a bus or tram and use the 'kerb drill' if you have to cross the road.
Stop, look, listen and think. Remember to look right, look left, and look right again, before you cross. (Traffic in Australia travels on the left side of the road.)
- Walk behind the bus and wait for it to move away before trying to cross the road.
- Keep up with other passengers if you have to walk through tunnels or narrow passage ways.
- Arrange for someone to meet you or pick you up if it will be dark by the time you get home, or wherever you're going.
Some things to remember
Statistics show that you are less likely to be seriously injured or killed travelling on public transport than travelling by car, walking or riding your bike.
But travelling can still be dangerous for young people.
- Know where the safe places are between transport stops and your home, eg. safe houses, public places like shops or petrol stations.
- Use your mobile to call for help if you need it.
- Try to travel with a friend rather than by yourself.
- Tell the driver if someone is being bullied on the bus.
- Watch out for your stop and don't miss it. It can be very scary walking alone in a place you don't know.
- Our topic on Keeping yourself safe has more ideas about this.
Dr Kim says
Most 'nearly teens' want to be able to go to friends' houses, the movies, the library or just go shopping with friends. They are at an age when they want to be a bit more independent.
It's hard for kids to get their heads around travelling on public transport if they've never done it. Travelling with a friend or in a group can help show you the ropes and give you some confidence.
When kids want more independence it can be hard for parents, caregivers and for kids. Maybe the adults in your life could feel better about you travelling by yourself or with friends if they did a 'trial run' with you. You could put their minds at rest by showing that you know what to do and where to go and how to behave.
Our topic on Getting along with your parents may be able to help.
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.