Women drivers watch out!

Safety issue

Women drivers watch out!

The recent incident of a woman being held hostage in her own car, forced to drive and then robbed of her valuables in Delhi, has highlighted the issue of women car drivers becoming easy victims again.

The number of such cases are rising and women are realising new threats while commuting by themselves.

When Metrolife spoke to Sindhu Pillai, DCP North district, she said, “It is true that the number of such cases are rising – the reason being that more and more women are now taking to the wheels at night and ill-motivated men are finding them easy preys. Many don’t even report such crimes to us as they feel that they’ll never get their valuables back. Only in instances of sexual attack, do we get FIRs.”

Preeti Suri, a businesswoman, who also drives to and from work by herself says, “With reports of such cases almost everyday, I have started to take as much caution as I can. Once I get into my car, I lock the doors and roll up the windows even before I drive out of the parking.”

“While driving, I do not get into any kind of ugly spats with other drivers. The idea is to not attract unwanted attention. If I feel someone may be tailing me, I make a note of the number without stopping the car. It is fine to approach the police later but I feel, at the end of the day, I am incharge of my own safety.”

DCP Sindhu Pillai agrees, “There are certain safety precautions which a woman must observe. Try to avoid visiting ATMs after dark if you are driving alone. If at all you have to, go to only those which are in a well-lit and populated area, not dark and isolated.”

“Women are most vulnerable when they are moving in or out of the car. Most women visit malls, ATMs and then sit in the car checking calls on the cell, bills or other things. This is not a good practice. You should finish checking stuff in the mall or ATM itself. Once out, make sure no one is following you, get into the car, lock it and move.”

Nayantara Janardhan, COO of Sakha - a cab service for women adds, “We provide our women cab drivers pepper-sprays, maps, a handbook of emergency numbers and advise them to keep their mobiles switched on at all times.”

“Besides, we always tell them to be alert while on the roads. We, as women, should never take our safety for granted. Caution is always better.”

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