The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued an advisory for travellers in view of the upcoming holidays.
The advisory, “Tips for safe travel”, covers key aspects such as having proper documents while travelling, driving safely in case of road travel, securing one’s house before leaving and exercising due caution while abroad, among others.
Official documents: The advisory urges travellers to ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months and obtain a visa on time. One should also confirm the validity of official documents such as the ID card, driver’s licence, car ownership card and debit/credit cards.
“Always keep official documents and personal valuables in a safe and secure place while travelling. Do not pawn your passport or ID card to any party in any way,” the advisory notes. In case of any problem, one must immediately inform the nearest diplomatic mission of his/her country and notify officials about the problem in detail.
Travellers have also been advised to arrange for an international driver’s licence as the transit system in some countries does not allow a foreigner to drive unless he/she carries a licence issued by those countries.
“Get the International Customs Transit Book (Triptyque) as this will serve as a guarantor in front of the Customs authorities of countries through which you pass or stop during your journey. Some Arab states require the Triptyque for passing through their territory,” the advisory says, adding that one should keep a copy of the passport and visa as this may help in case the originals go missing.
Awareness and caution: The MoI has advised travellers to be extra cautious about the situation around them – at hotels, airports, markets, etc - in order to ensure personal security and safety.
“Please avoid carrying jewellery or any valuables unnecessarily with you during the travel period. Keep your money in a purse and ensure it is available at its place constantly,” the advisory points out.
“Please avoid mingling with unknown persons while travelling and don’t carry bags or luggage of persons unknown to you.”
Travellers have been advised to avoid using illegal taxis and visiting suspicious localities. They should also obey the rules and regulations of the host country and not carry prohibited items on flights.
The advisory also reminds travellers to ask security agencies for necessary legal approvals to conduct a search at the place where they are staying in the host country if such a situation arises.
Securing the house before travel: The MoI has advised travellers to ensure that they secure the doors of their house properly – by using one or more high-quality locks - before leaving. They must not leave any money, jewellery or other valuables inside and should instead deposit them in a bank.
People should also switch off the electric switchboard, gas pipelines and main water valve before leaving. Relatives or neighbours could be requested to pass by the house at intervals during the travel period to ensure their safety.
Safety tips for travel by road: For those travelling by road, the MoI advisory includes a number of safety measures.
To begin with, one should ensure the capacity of his/her vehicle by conducting a comprehensive technical test before starting the trip. “Check the validity and safety standard of your vehicle’s tyres and replace them if needed,” it notes.
Other safety measures include wearing seatbelts, always keeping a first-aid kit and a functional fire extinguisher in the vehicle, making children sit in the rear seat only and not overloading the car.
Besides, travellers should keep a route map of the country they are visiting and not allow the fuel level to dip below the halfway mark.
Driving in emergency situations (rains, fog and dust)
In such conditions, motorists have been asked to reduce the speed as much as possible, drive the vehicle on the right side of the road, use wipers if it is raining, switch on the dim lights, not to overtake and maintain enough distance from the vehicle in front.
If a vehicle has to be stopped due to poor visibility or for other factors, one should stay off the road and switch on the hazard lights.
The MoI has urged travellers to follow traffic signs and boards put up along the road, avoid getting fatigued before starting a trip, switch driving duties with others (holding a valid licence) every one or two hours if possible, make several halts to get adequate rest during long trips and remain cautious while approaching areas where animal movement is expected, especially at night.
“If you feel drowsy, stop your vehicle immediately and resume your journey only after giving yourself some rest,” the advisory adds.
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