Transportation Safety

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"Places to go, people to see..." Scroll down for tips on how to keep your vehicle, your passengers and yourself all safe while you're getting where you need to be.
Personal Transportation Safety
Some dangers exist within your vehicle, such as distractions and alcohol. Other dangers, such as unanticipated situations or people, exist on the other side of your windshield. Reduce your chances of becoming a victim by following these tips while cruising in your personal vehicle.
  • Familiarize yourself with how the buttons and locks operate on vehicle before you drive it, regardless of whether the vehicle is yours or a rental.
  • When approaching your vehicle, perform a visual scan around, beneath and in it. Once you determine the coast is clear, lock your doors immediately before even starting your vehicle.
  • Park only in well lit locations and avoid parking near shrubs or dark spots where someone could hide. When possible, park in a lot with an attendant or in a well populated area.
  • Avoid unsolicited offers for help. If someone points out damage to your vehicle, take it to a reputable repair shop at your convenience to assess the damage instead of going with the person who offers to fix it on the spot.
  • Be conscious of breakdown ploys criminals use to lure victims in. For example, a criminal might approach you and tell you he sees fluid leaking from your vehicle and can give you a ride to the nearest shop. Instead of getting in his car, stay in yours and call the Police.

It Can (All) Wait
We often hear the slogan "It Can Wait", from the campaign designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. A texting driver is 23 more times likely to get into an accident than a non-texting driver. Despite how many lives have changed in an instant due to distracted driving, 75% of teens say texting and driving is "common" among their friends (source: AT&T).
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times by limiting distractions in your vehicle. Remember that other kinds of distractions while driving can also lead to a dangerous situation.
  • Limit your need to text while driving by communicating before you hit the pavement. Then, let the person whom you're texting know that you're about to get on the road so he or she doesn't expect a text until you reach your destination. If you absolutely need to pull over in order to send a message, do so in a safe, well lit location. While stopped, stay aware of your surroundings and remember to keep your doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
  • As a responsible passenger, never tolerate texting and driving in the driver's seat. Offer to read or send a text for the driver and tend to other things that might otherwise distract him or her, such as finding a radio station, plugging directions in the map, or even opening a bottle of soda.
  • Take the Pledge to never text and drive and encourage your friends and family to do the same.


The Most Common Crime is the Easiest One to Prevent
Theft from motor vehicles continues to be an ongoing issue throughout the City, leaving citizens deprived of valuable possessions. In fact, vehicle break-ins are the most commonly reported crime in Manassas. Luckily, it is still the easiest one to prevent. To avoid becoming a statistic, consider the following for ways you can prevent vehicle break-ins.
  • Be sure to roll up all windows, close your sunroof if you have one, and lock the doors and trunk. Thieves have a tendency to stake out parking lots, where they watch people put bags and other items into the trunks of their vehicles, so be sure to stow items away before your arrival rather than waiting until you reach your destination.
  • Be cautious when leaving your vehicle unattended with valuable possessions inside, whether it is only for a few minutes for an extended period of time. Of the thefts from autos reported in Manassas, most of the vehicles targeted in 2012 were left unlocked prior to being broken into, either because the victims forgot to lock their car doors or simply chose not to. This makes it simple for a thief to gain entry into a vehicle where many valuable possessions can be taken.

Click It or Ticket
Regular seat belt use saves thousands of lives across Virginia each year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 272 lives in Virginia. According to the DMV Highway Safety Office’s TREDS (Traffic Records Electronic Data System), there was a total of 765 fatalities in 2011. 306 of them were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
  • Seasonal Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilizations run annually in May and November, but motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt and other traffic laws day and night, year-round. So what can you do to increase your chances of survival in a collision and avoid being ticketed by Police? It’s simple. Buckle up!
Click It or Ticket

Don't Become a Drunk Driving Statistic
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 52 minutes on average. 10,228 people were killed and approximately 350,000 were injured as a result of drunk driving in 2010 alone. Every 90 seconds, someone is injured because of this entirely preventable crime. Don’t become a statistic. Follow these easy tips to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe, especially during the holiday seasons.
  • Before leaving for the night, designate a sober driver who is responsible for getting everyone home safely.
  • Consider taking public transportation, such as bus or rail.
  • Call a cab. SoberRide is a free taxi ride program provided by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) to provide a safe way home for impaired drivers during high risk times of the year, such as through the December-January holiday season. For more information on how easy it is to order a free cab, visit Sober Ride online.
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Motor Vehicle Theft
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Etching is one of the most effective means to deter auto theft that is currently available. Etching is a fast, safe and simple process of having a vehicle’s VIN engraved onto its windows using a chemical solution. Once the VIN has been etched on all the windows, a thief must strip and replace every piece of glass in order to profit off the sale of the stolen vehicle or its parts. Doing so is a time-consuming and expensive feat, which deters many thieves from stealing VIN-etched vehicles in the first place.
  • Have your vehicle’s or motorcycle’s VIN etched to prevent it from being stolen. To find future VIN etching events in the City, visit the Police Department Calendar or visit the Virginia State Police HEAT website.
Riding Public Transportation
Whether you use bus, metro rail, or a taxi to get around town, consider these suggestions for staying safe en route.
  • When riding the bus or train, sit as close to the driver or attendant as possible and keep all your belongings close to you. Have your fare ready when you board to avoid flashing your wallet and valuables in front of other passengers.
  • When possible, familiarize yourself with the transportation schedule in advance in order to limit waiting time on the platform or near the stop. If you do arrive in advance, stand in a safe location while you await the train, cab bus. Choose a safe business nearby, or if one is unavailable, a well-populated and well-lighted area on the train platform or near the stop.
  • When ordering a cab, ask for the driver’s name that is being dispatched and confirm it with the driver once he arrives. Ask in advance how much the trip will cost and how long it will take. Converse with the driver as much as possible without disclosing information about yourself, especially if you are traveling alone. If you feel uncomfortable with a cab assigned to you, for instance at the airport, you have a right to refuse. Tell the taxi company you would like a different driver.

Safety Tips Home
Washington Regional Alcohol Program It Can Wait Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks. Washington Regional Alcohol Program Click It or Ticket HEAT Washington Regional Alcohol Program | Sober Ride