Welcome to Greater Miami and the Beaches!
As with any major metropolitan area throughout the world, there are standard precautions that can be taken to ensure a pleasant and safe stay. Miami-Dade County laws require:
- Your rental car agency to provide you with the Visitor Information Map and Safety Tips unless you decline them in writing.
- Your rental car to have no less than one-half tank of gas at the time you rent it.
- Your rental car must be free of stickers, advertisements, or other insignias that identify your vehicle as a rental car.
- Review maps and other visitor information before leaving rental car area or elsewhere. If unsure of how to reach a destination, ask for directions prior to leaving your point of departure, be that a hotel, attraction, restaurant, shopping mall or place of business.
- Do not ask for casual street corner directions.
- Do not exit expressways to avoid tolls.
- Tolls do not exceed $1.50 in South Florida and change is available, if necessary, from a toll receipt and change booth. If you have questions, speak to a toll booth attendant.
- If you are told by a passing motorist that something is wrong with your vehicle -- or if someone bumps you from behind -- do not stop. Drive to the nearest well lighted public area and call for assistance (police emergencies, dial 911).
- Always keep doors locked and windows up when driving or parked. Keep valuables in the trunk or locked glove compartment. Learn the signals of the emergency vehicles (police lights are blue or red).
- Do not stop for flashing headlights alone.
- In the rare event that you are approached by a stranger who demands your valuables, do not resist. Your well-being is more important than your belongings.
- Always use seat belts. It is the law in Florida and may save your life in the event of an accident.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages and drive. Open alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the vehicle.
- Do not give strangers a ride under any circumstances.
- Always be aware of the pedestrian traffic around your vehicle. Always park in well-lighted areas. Have car keys in hand and check the surrounding areas and vehicle's interior before entering.
- If car trouble is experienced on a major thoroughfare, lock the doors, turn on flashers and wait the arrival of a law enforcement officer. If someone offers assistance, have them call 911. Never leave your vehicle unattended with the motor running. Do not stop to assist someone with car trouble. Go to the nearest well-lighted pay phone and call police (dial 911)
- Consider using traveler's checks. Carry money and identification separately. If money is lost or stolen you will still have your driver's license, passport, etc. Use automatic teller machines located in well-lighted areas. Retrieve money and count it later. When you are in the rental car area adjacent to the airport and need assistance, locate a designated telephone and dial *81. The call is free.
- Do not leave bags, briefcases, purses or luggage unattended.
- Do not ever leave children unattended anywhere.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Carry travelers checks in place of cash.
- Keep hotel and balcony room doors locked.
- All members of your party should carry information with the name, address and telephone number of your hotel.
- Carry purses and waist packs across the front of your body. Be sure they are closed securely.
- For all emergencies dial 911 on the telephone.
- For telephone number information dial 411 on the telephone.
Safety Precautions for the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATM)
Remember: There is safety in numbers. Whenever possible, have another person accompany you when transacting business on an automated teller machine.
- Observe the Surrounding
Before approaching any automated teller machine ("ATM") be alert for any suspicious persons or circumstances. Should you observe suspicious persons or circumstances or otherwise feel uneasy or uncomfortable with your surroundings, leave the area immediately—do not use the ATM. Come back at a later or more appropriate time or use an ATM at another location. Report any suspicious persons to law enforcement authorities.
- Be Ready to Transact Business
Before approaching any ATM machine, have your access card and any other paperwork necessary for your particular transaction ready and in your hand. Having to retrieve these items from a purse or wallet is time consuming and allows a potential thief easier access to your valuables. By being ready to transact business before approaching the ATM, your transaction becomes quicker and safer.
- Remain Observant While Using the ATM
While transacting business at the ATM, continue to observe your surroundings. Be careful not to disclose or otherwise reveal your Personal Identification Number ("PIN") to others while using the ATM. Never begin a transaction when strangers have a clear view of the ATM keyboard. Use your body to shield the ATM keyboard as you access the machine. This will allow you to access the machine without disclosing or revealing your PIN. You should check your surroundings every few seconds while actually using the ATM. Should you observe any suspicious persons or circumstances, terminate your transaction immediately, leave the area, and contact law enforcement authorities.
- Leave Quickly
Upon completing your transaction, retrieving your card, and receiving your receipt, immediately leave the ATM area. Do not count or otherwise visually expose any money received from the ATM. Continue to observe your surroundings for any suspicious persons or circumstances, such as anyone following or approaching you. Always maintain a safe distance between you and any stranger. If you believe that you are being followed, you should go to the nearest place where there are people and contact law enforcement.