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Questions
1)  How to Safeguard Your Children.
2)  Babysitting Responsibilities
3)  How to Protect Yourself at Night
4)  How to Protect Yourself While Shopping
5)  How to Protect Yourself While Using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
6)  Lost or Stolen Purse or Wallet (Credit Cards).
7)  Bicycle Safety.
8)  How to protect yourself from IDENTITY THEFT.
9)  What is Improper Photography or Visual Recording?
 
Answers
1)  Q How to Safeguard Your Children.
A
  • Teach them to never talk to strangers.
  • Teach them never to ride their bikes alone; always ride with a buddy and always wear their helmet.
  • Teach them to never play in the street.
  • Teach them to always look both ways and watch for cars before entering or crossing the street.
  • Establish neighborhood boundaries in which they may play.
  • Teach them to never open the door to a stranger when home alone.
  • Teach them that, when answering the telephone, never give out any personal information or let the person who calls know if they are alone.
  • Teach them to be sure to let their parents know exactly where they will be and for how long, and to always call and let them know if they decide to go somewhere else.
  • If they should see a gun, teach them to stop, don't touch, call an adult.
  • Teach them to never get into a car with someone they don't know.
  • If they feel threatened, teach them to run away as fast as they can.
  • Develop a secret password that must be used if someone unfamiliar is to pick them up from school or play.
  • If they come home and something about their house doesn't look right, teach them to go immediately to a neighbor's for help.
2)  Q Babysitting Responsibilities
A

Take your babysitting responsibility seriously. Part of that responsibility is protecting yourself as well as the children you will be taking care of. Know your employer before you take the job. Check references if this will be the first time working for this person.

Before accepting the job, get specific instructions about the number and ages of children, bed times, foods, medicines, and other information about personal habits and what is expected of you.

When you accept a job, arrive early to confirm all of this information and get any additional instructions.

Learning first aid procedures before you take on babysitting jobs will help prepare you for emergencies and may save a life.

When you are babysitting:

  • DO NOT allow strangers into the house unless your employer specifically informs you to let them in.
  • DO NOT tell a caller that you are the babysitter alone with the children. Take a message and tell them that the employer will return the call momentarily.
  • DO NOT go outside to investigate suspicious noises or activities. Turn on outside lights and call the police. Be sure that all doors and windows are locked.

Babysitter Checklist

  • Name, address and phone number of employer.
  • Directions to job location.
  • Transportation arranged for you to get to job and return home.
  • Location and phone number where employer can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Alternate person to contact for emergency if employer cannot be reached.
  • Special instructions from employer.
  • Locations and instructions on use for safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, first aid supplies.
  • Walk through house with employer to ensure all doors and windows are locked
  • Outside lights on.
  • Emergency numbers and note taking materials by the telephone.

 

3)  Q How to Protect Yourself at Night
A
  • Avoid walking or running alone at night. Instead go walking or jogging with a friend.
  • Don't use headphones while walking, driving or jogging.
  • Always walk in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid the use of short cuts.
  • After dark, keep away from large bushes or doorways where someone could be lurking.
  • Always stay near the curb.
  • If someone in a vehicle stops and asks for directions, answer from a distance. Do not approach the vehicle.
  • If followed, go immediately to an area with lights and people. If needed, turn around and walk in the opposite direction, your follower will also have to reverse directions.

Do not display cash openly, especially when leaving an ATM.

4)  Q How to Protect Yourself While Shopping
A
  • Avoid shopping alone. Try to shop with a friend or relative.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lighted area. Put radar detectors and cellular telephones out of sight.
  • Know your surroundings. Keep an eye on the people in front of as well as behind you.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Don't swing it loosely. Don't flash large amounts of cash.
  • Walk with confidence. Avoid talking to strangers.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys already in your hand.
  • Try not to carry too many packages. Place all packages out of sight in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your windows shut.
  • If you see anything suspicious or if something just doesn't feel right, leave immediately and contact security or the police.
5)  Q How to Protect Yourself While Using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
A
  • Try to avoid using an ATM by yourself. Either take someone with you or only use an ATM when others are around.
  • If possible, avoid using an ATM after dark. If you must, choose one that is well lighted and does not have tall bushes nearby.
  • When you arrive at an ATM, look around. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or anyone who looks suspicious, do not stop. Either use an ATM at a different location or come back later. Notify the authorities.
  • Have your access card and any other documents you need ready when you approach an ATM. While you are fumbling with a wallet or purse, you are easy game for a thief.
  • If someone else is using the ATM when you arrive, avoid standing right behind them. Give them enough space to conduct their transaction in privacy.
  • Even while using the ATM, stay alert to your surroundings. Look up and around every few seconds while transacting your business.
  • Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not enter your PIN if anyone else can see the screen. Shield your PIN from onlookers by using your body.
  • When your transaction is finished, be sure you have your card and your receipt, then leave immediately. Avoid counting or otherwise displaying large amounts of cash.
  • As you leave, keep a look out. Be alert for anything or anyone who appears suspicious. If you think you are being followed, go to an area with a lot of people and call the police.
6)  Q Lost or Stolen Purse or Wallet (Credit Cards).
A
Lost Wallet or Purse

Cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know who to call. Keep those where you can find them easily (DON'T KEEP THEM IN YOUR WALLET OR PURSE). Contact your bank if your checkbook or ATM card was also stolen along with your wallet or purse.

File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation.

The most important step you can take to protect yourself is this: Most people don't even know about this. Call the two national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SSN#. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

The numbers are: Equifax 1-800 525-6285 Trans Union 1-800-680-7289 Social Security Administration also has a fraud line 1-800-269-0271

7)  Q Bicycle Safety.
A
Bicycle Safety

Share The Roads

When you ride your bike in traffic, you are a driver. Wear your "crash helmet." A bike helmet could save your life. Don't hit the road without a helmet.

Always follow the rules of the road.

  • Ride Right- with the traffic, to the right side of your lane. Always look back, signal, check for traffic before you make any turn or leave your driveway. Otherwise, you may become extinct! Stop at all stop signs and lights, too. You are a driver now!
  • Pedestrians get to go first. Yield the right of way, and keep a sharp lookout for danger in every direction at all times-just like car drivers do. Allow four feet between you and parked cars. A careless driver could be opening a door in your path!
  • If you ride with your friends, don't hog the road. Two side by side is the limit. If the lane can be safely shared with a car, the law is "single file." Be courteous to faster traffic. Don't cause a traffic jam. Let them pass when it's safe, but hold your lane.
  • Make sure your vehicle works the way it should. Check your brakes, tire pressure, and make sure the handlebars don't wobble-every time you ride.
  • If you must ride when it's dark, be safe-BE SEEN. Texas law requires your vehicle to have a white light in front and a reflector in back. Light colored clothing with reflective patches and reflective wheel strips also help you be seen.

Bicycle Safety, Part II

Bicycle Safety
Bicycle's are fun and it is a great way to exercise. For some students it is an essential mode of transportation on and off of campus. We want you to be safe while riding. To help you we have included a list of the various State of Texas Transportation Code laws that effect and regulate bicycle traffic on all roadways in Texas.

Chapter 551.001 Persons Affected
This chapter applies only to a person operating a bicycle on:

  • Highways
  • A path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

TRC 551.101 Rights and Duties

  • A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under the subtitle, unless:
    • A provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or
    • A right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.
  • A parent may not knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this subtitle.

TRC 551.102

  • A person operating a bicycle shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.
  • A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry.
  • A person operating a bicycle may not use the bicycle to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle.
  • A person operating a bicycle, coaster, sled or other toy vehicle or using roller skates MAY NOT attach either the person or the bicycle coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.

TRC 551.103

  • Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
    • The person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;
    • The person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or
    • A condition on or of the roadway, including vehicle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard width lane, prevents the person from safely riding next tot he right curb or edge of the roadway.
  • A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway.
  • Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Person riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic.

TRC 551.104

  • A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
  • A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:
    • A lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and
    • A red reflector on the rear oaf the bicycle that is:
      • Of a type approved by the department; and
      • Visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; and
  • In addition to the reflector required by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle at nighttime may use a lamp on the rear of the bicycle that emits a red light visible a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.

You are subject to the same traffic laws as all vehicular traffic. Obey traffic lights and signs.

Safety Tips

  • Although it is not a law, it is always recommended that you wear a helmet.
  • Remember that bicycles are hard to see. Be aware of other traffic.
  • Always lock your bicycle. If possible, keep it inside your house or apartment. You should also register your bicycle with the College Station Police Department.

Bicycle Theft
With the increase in bicycles as transportation bicycle thefts have also increased. Most of the time it is preventable. Here are a few tips to help keep your bicycle from being stolen.

  • Keep your bicycle in your house, garage or apartment.
  • Never leave your bicycle laying in the yard, even if you are only going inside "for a minute".
  • Always lock your bicycle with an approved locking device.
  • Write down the description of the bicycle. Include the make, model, and serial numbers and put them in a safe place. If it is stolen, you will need this information.
  • Engrave your or your parents drivers license information on the bicycle.
  • Register your bicycle with the local law enforcement agency.
8)  Q How to protect yourself from IDENTITY THEFT.
A
Please go to the useful links page and click on Identity Theft link. There is an abundance of important information on how to protect yourself.
9)  Q What is Improper Photography or Visual Recording?
A
§21.15. Improper photography or visual recording.
(a)  In this section, "promote" has the meaning assigned by Section 43.21.
(b)  A person commits an offense if the person:
(1)  photographs or by videotape or other electronic means visually records another:
(A)  without the other person's consent; and
(B)  with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or
(2)  knowing the character and content of the photograph or recording, promotes a
photograph or visual recording described by Subdivision (1).
(c)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
(d)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes
an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this
section or the other law.
*Example of this violation: A person uses a camera phone to take a picture under a girls skirt or dress. Example: Taking pictures while in the boys or girls showers or dressing rooms.