Ministry of Interior issues safety tips for summer travels
Summer is upon us!
As many of us are traveling for summer vacations, the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued an advisory in a bid to ensure the safety and security of travelers.
The advisory contains the following tips:
1. Taking care of official documents
Travelers need to make sure that the passports are valid for at least the next six months. Upon deciding on a destination, you should check the visa process and obtain a visa before the travel date.
Residents should keep official documents and personal valuables in a safe and secure place while traveling. MoI says "Do not pawn your passport or ID card to any party in any way, in case of any problem, you must immediately inform the nearest diplomatic mission of your country and notify the officials about the problem in detail".
If you are planning to go on a road trip during your stay, MoI advises getting an international driver’s license from Qatar. According to MoI, the transit system in some countries does not allow foreigners to drive unless he or she carries a license issued by those countries.
“Get the international customs transit book (Triptyque) as this will serve as a guarantor before 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 adds.
Keep a copy of your passport and visa of the country you are visiting with you for security purposes, in case you misplace the passport you can show the copies to the authorities.
“Travelers should also collect the address and telephone numbers of the embassies or consulates of their countries in the countries where they intend to travel. This will help them in case of an emergency,” the advisory adds.
2. Securing home before traveling
It is very significant that you ensure that your home is locked properly. Valuable items such as jewelry, money, and others are best to keep in bank lockers.
Furthermore, it is very important to switch off the electric switchboard and main water valve if you are going for a long trip. You need to also turn off the gas cylinder.
You can also request your relatives or neighbors to keep an eye on your home from time to time.
3. Awareness and caution during travel
MoI urges people to be "extra cautious" about what's going on around them as it is the basis of maintaining personal security and safety while traveling.
It is better to avoid carrying jewelry or valuables during the travel period.
Please be mindful of the transportations. You should avoid using illegal taxis in foreign countries.
"Throughout your travel, act as an ambassador of your country and avoid suspicious neighborhoods. Obey the rules and regulations of the host country and the terms of global aviation systems" the advisory continues.
If security agencies in the host country have to inspect a traveler's place of residence, the traveler should ask them if they have obtained the necessary permission from the judicial authorities to conduct such a search.
In the event of an investigation into any case, one must report to the state mission as soon as possible.
"Carry currencies consistent with instructions of the host country", the advisory adds. Excessive cash has to be declared before the customs authorities.
4. Car safety tips
MoI has recommended people to ensure the capacity of their vehicle by conducting a comprehensive technical test well ahead of their trip and also check the safety and validity of the tires.
“Wear a seatbelt throughout the trip as it can save people from injuries by 50% and death by 60-70 % during an accident”, it says, stressing that people should always keep a first-aid kit in their car.
"Take a route map of the country you are traveling to or GPS for route guidance. Always keep a fire extinguisher in working condition in your vehicle as well as an extra key of the vehicle with you. Don’t allow the fuel level in the tank to come down by more than half, as the next petrol station may not be working,” it adds.
If you feel sleepy, immediately stop your vehicle and continue your journey only after taking some rest. Avoid driving during late nights as much as possible.
5. Driving during rainy, foggy, or dusty conditions
While driving on a rainy, foggy, or dusty weather, you need to reduce the vehicle’s speed as much as possible.
Turn on the dim lights and drive the vehicle on the right side of the road in case of such weather. You should maintain distance between your car and the vehicle in front of yours and avoid overtaking.
If you want to stop the car in case of zero visibility, please ensure you are staying off the road and switch on hazard lights.
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