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Vehicle Safety

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A police cruiser

Hundreds of thousands of citizens are on the roads in York Region each and every day. Keeping yourself safe while travelling is extremely important to not only your family, but to us as well. Educate yourself and your family about vehicle safety.

Carjacking and vehicle theft are two different things. Carjacking is when a vehicle is taken by force or the threat of force from a person who is in the car or is attempting to enter or exit the vehicle. Police should be called immediately if you are the victim of a carjacking. There are ways to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
  • Lock all doors and raise windows when driving
  • Don't park in isolated areas or near walls or shrubs where someone can lie in wait unnoticed
  • Use parking garages that employ attendants
  • Ask to be escorted when leaving malls or businesses at night
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Have your keys in hand when you approach your vehicle; don't spend time fumbling for them
  • If you are victimized and a family member or pet is still in the vehicle, tell the carjacker that someone else is in the vehicle and reassure the carjacker they can have the car. In many cases, the carjackers will comply with your request. Remember it is the vehicle the carjackers really want
  • Do not leave keys in the ignition or your vehicle running
  • Report suspicious people or vehicles to police

If you become a victim of carjacking, cooperate and be the best witness possible. Remember everything you can about the offender including their description and clothing.

 Vehicle Theft

Most incidents of vehicle theft are preventable. Following these safety tips can reduce the risk of having your vehicle stolen:

  • Never leave your vehicle unattended and running, even for short periods of time
  • If you must warm up your vehicle, remain inside or lock it and keep a spare key with you
  • Invest in a keyless remote starter
  • Maintain control of your keys at all times
  • While you are at home, keep keys out of sight, not near the door or hanging on a hook near the door
  • Keep your doors locked and windows up
  • Park in a locked garage whenever possible
  • Use the emergency brake
  • Don't park your vehicle in isolated areas
  • Place valuables in the trunk, out of sight
  • Don't hide a spare key in the vehicle
  • Invest in an anti-theft device like ignition or fuel kill switches, car alarms or tracking devices 
 Personal Safety in Your Vehicle

You may feel safe while inside your vehicle, but you still need to be aware of personal safety while driving.

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Try to use well-lit streets when driving at night
  • If you think you are being followed, pull into the nearest gas station or other public place. Do not drive home
  • Plan your route before you leave
  • Don't pick up hitchhikers
  • When getting into your vehicle, check to ensure no one is inside
  • Carry a road map. Your cellphone may not always have a signal or battery power 
 Thefts from Vehicles
Thefts from vehicles can occur quickly and you need to be diligent in securing your vehicle or you could end up losing some important items.
  • Always keep your car locked, even in your driveway
  • Always place valuables like cellphones and GPS systems out of sight or in the trunk
  • Place packages and purchases in the trunk, out of sight
  • Consider installing anti-theft devices such as alarms and vehicle-tracking systems
  • Always place valuables in the trunk, out of sight of passers-by
  • Purchase large, expensive items last and go straight home afterward
 Distraction Thefts

Distraction thieves work in teams and often approach victims in busy parking lots with an offer of assistance - claiming your tire is flat, your vehicle has been damaged or that you have dropped something. While you are distracted, an accomplice steals your purse, items from your vehicle or the vehicle itself.

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Don't let yourself be distracted
  • Keep your purse or wallet with you at all times
  • Don't leave purchases in plain sight in your vehicle. Lock them in the trunk
  • Have your keys ready - don't spend time fumbling for them
 Child Safety Seats

Ensure your children are safely and properly secured while travelling in a motor vehicle. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation advises the correct use of a child restraint on every trip can prevent 75 per cent of crash-related deaths and serious injuries to passengers who are children. Visit the Ministry of Transportation for information on choosing the right car seat for your child.

  • Always follow the instructions according to the child seat manufacturer's manual and the vehicle owner's manual
  • Make sure the restraint system has CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) on the label and comes with up-to-date and complete manufacturer's instructions
  • Check the weight and height limits of the seat to be sure it is correct for your child
  • Before you buy a seat, try it in your vehicle to be sure it can be installed properly and can be tightened so there is little movement
  • Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat, especially if there is a front passenger seat air bag