As many college students gear up for the spring break holiday next week, the Arizona Highway Patrol Association reminds our young adults to be careful when traveling to Mexico. Increased violence in Mexico has caused concern for law enforcement, and they are reminding students about safety when traveling.
“There is no doubt law enforcement has seen an increase in drug trafficking and Mexican gang infighting,” says Sgt. Kevin McNichols of the Arizona Highways Patrol Association. “When traveling, it is important to realize that the location and timing of acts of violence cannot be predicted, and we are encouraging all travelers to take safety precautions when traveling.”
Americans have a choice when traveling, and the AHPA urges them to protect themselves if they do choose to travel anywhere outside of the United States. Here are some security tips for students when traveling anywhere outside the country:
1. 1. Buddy system: Never walk by yourself anywhere. Be sure to stay with friends you trust. The power of numbers can easily detour someone to prey on an innocent bystanders.
2. 2. Foreign land means foreign laws: Police authorities operate and are held accountable differently than in the U.S. You could be not dealing with the same type of ethical police officer you are use to. Even breaking laws in other countries can result in harsher penalties. Travelers should be familiar with the other countries laws they are visiting. (There are several tips on the US State Department website.)
3. 3. Register with US Consulate/Embassy: Be sure to register ahead of time with authorities. The easiest way to register is through their travel registration web site.
4. 4. Insurance: Buy insurance before you leave the United States. Do your research and know what you are buying.
5. 5. Keep your valuables close and secure: Use hotel or personally travel safes for valuables. Your luggage and items are never safe unattended, so be sure to lock suitcases when you are away from them.
6. 6. Personal Information: If you do not have to disclose your personal information, then don’t! Make sure your license is with you at all times, and give your information to reputable companies.
7. 7. Check travel advisories: If you are traveling out of the country, AHPA encourages people to visit the US state Departments website for travel advisories to the country of destination (Mexico Alone; Internationally). This will provide students with information on activity in their destination area. It is important to realize that the location and timing of acts of violence cannot be predicted.
8. 8. As you travel throughout Arizona, remember to drive safely. If you are involved in a minor collision on the highway and can move off the highway to a safe place out of the roadway do so, this will keep the roadway open. Be sure to check your tire pressure and fluid levels before you begin your travels
Article written by/or information provided by AHPA