Free Preview: Inside the Fearless Miranda Issue
We have all been there before…you are driving home from work when suddenly you see something that makes your heart stop beating. You turn around and see a car coming at full speed towards you!
You don’t even have time to get out of the way or pull over because the driver hits you so hard it causes you to fall off your bike. Your back wheel goes into the grass and you feel like you might not make it. Fortunately, someone else was nearby and pulled up beside you right away.
What do YOU think would happen if that happened today? Would anyone come to your aid? What if they didn’t help? Would you still be alive?
I bet most of us have had such scary moments while riding our bikes.
But what if we could prevent them from ever happening in the first place?
That’s why I’m writing this post. I want to share with you some tips on how to ride safely and enjoy yourself on public transportation without getting hurt.
The First Step Is To Stop Being Afraid Of Public Transportation!
Don’t be afraid of it. That’s right, you heard me. Don’t allow yourself to get intimidated by city bus drivers, train conductors or other bicyclists.
I know some of you tend to get a little shaky when confronted by others. You don’t need to worry about this because most people on these types of transportation are just trying to get where they need to go and don’t have the time or patience to mess with you.
The next time you are on a city bus taking a trip somewhere, take a closer look at the people riding it. You will see that most of them are looking at their cell phones, chatting with each other or simply watching the road as it passes by. They aren’t paying much attention to you.
Sure, there are exceptions but don’t let that ruin your day. Just get off the bus like you normally would and go about your business.
Speaking of getting off the bus, how do you do that?
On this topic, I can offer you a few tips. First of all, don’t let the bus driver scare you into getting off at the wrong location. Just because he tells you to get off doesn’t mean you have to.
Sometimes drivers will yell at passengers to get off if they are having a bad day. Other drivers might not even stop if they see that the bus is filled to capacity. In both of these cases, you have the right to stay on board until the next stop.
Finally, if you would rather get off in a more “controlled” environment, simply signal the driver by saying “stop please.” He should come out and pull the lever for you to get off.
As you can see, riding the city bus isn’t really all that hard. All you have to do is take a few precautions and you will be fine. Remember, safety first!
Now let’s talk about taking the train. This can be a little more intimidating since you are probably going to have to walk on or cross busy streets in order to get to and from your destination. Your best bet is to find a well-lit area with a lot of people before and after your train ride.
That will minimize your chances of being attacked by someone looking to do harm. If possible, try to bring a friend along so you won’t feel quite as vulnerable.
And as I mentioned earlier, always keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t make it easy for someone to snatch your backpack or purse and run off with it.
When you get on the train or the light rail (if your city has one), make sure you have a firm grip on your stuff so it doesn’t get taken while you’re in a crowded car. You never know who might be standing too close to you.
If you can help it, don’t sit near the doors. This will make it tougher for you to get off when your stop comes up because the people near the doors usually get off first. Sit a few rows back and get off in an orderly fashion.
When you exit the train or light rail, do it slowly and cautiously. Once again, be aware of your surroundings. A lot can happen in a short period of time because you are in such a busy environment.
Be alert and listen to your “gut feelings” if something doesn’t feel quite right.
If you need directions or have questions about the place you’re visiting, it’s best not to ask a police officer. Sure, they’re around to help but for some reason most teens think they have something against them. You probably don’t want someone looking at you with suspicion if you do happen to speak with one.
Instead of asking a police officer for directions, try speaking with a store clerk or even a fellow passenger that got off at your stop. Chances are they’ll be more than willing to help out.
Your best bet for contacting your parents while you’re on the road is by using a pay phone. These are getting harder to find, but they’re still around. Typically you’ll find one in a fast food restaurant, a store or at a gas station.
Finding an available pay phone can sometimes be difficult because they’re in high demand. When you do find one, check to see if it’s in working order by placing a nickel (or a dime or a quarter, whatever) in the coin slot and giving it a try. If you don’t get a dial tone, move on to the next one.
If the phone isn’t in use when you approach it, be respectful of the other person and wait for them to finish their call. If they’re in the middle of a conversation, it could take awhile so you might as well find a seat and sit down until they’re done.
If the phone is in use, you’ll have to wait for the next one unless the person has been on it for a long period of time. (A long period would be five minutes or more). If this is the case, feel free to politely ask the person if you can be placed ahead of them.
If they say no, just wait until they’re done. If they say yes, take a seat and place the call.
Never butt in line in front of someone who has been waiting longer than you have. This is even true if you see a phone that you want to use because it’s in less damaged condition than the one someone is currently using. Just wait your turn and be patient.
You don’t need to waste your quarters trying every phone that you come across. If the first one you try doesn’t work, chances are the next one won’t work either. Move on to the next one after you determine that the first one is in bad shape.
The same thing applies for pay phones that are out of order. Don’t waste your time with them because if one doesn’t work, the rest probably won’t either.
If you’re going to be on the road for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to stock up on a few quarters here and there so you’ll have them when you need them. Most pay phones typically take either a quarter, a dime or a nickel to make a call.
If you don’t have any change on you and need to make an emergency call, most stores usually have pay phones that can be used for a fee. The cost will vary from one store to the next so be sure to ask the clerk what the charge will be before you make your call.
If you’re just making a local call, there’s no need to worry about the cost because no matter how long you talk, the charge will remain the same. The only exception to this rule would be if you’re calling long distance.
Most pay phones require you to input a number sequence to access an outside line. The instructions for doing this will be posted on the phone or on a wall nearby. If you’re trying to dial out on one and you can’t get an outside line, chances are you’re entering the access number incorrectly.
Once you’re connected to an outside line, all you have to do is input the number you want to call just like you would when using a touch-tone phone. (You don’t need to put in a 1 at the beginning for long distance numbers unless it’s a number outside of your local area code).
Adapted from “How to Be a Surviving Teen” by Crispen M. Markham
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Sources & references used in this article:
- The writers: A history of American screenwriters and their guild (MJ Banks – 2015 – books.google.com)
- BECOMING ACTIVE READER (RM MARSAULINA – akademik.uhn.ac.id)
- TITLE Environmental Issues in Brazilian Society. Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program. June 26-July (G Education – ERIC)
- Contempt of Court: A Scholar’s Battle for Free Speech from Behind Bars (R Scarce – 2005 – books.google.com)
- The War on Words: Slavery, Race, and Free Speech in American Literature (MT Gilmore – 2010 – books.google.com)