Here’s What a Handshake Symbol on a Parking Space Means

Life is everchanging. It seems to become more chaotic the older we get and the more industrialized we as a society become. So, going into stores or malls isn’t as feasible as it once was. Consequently, online shopping has become more common, and in many cases, is the new normal.

Although online shopping is much more convenient, there are some downsides including the possibility of not getting exactly what you thought you were buying. Additionally, more intense downsides exist, such as safety concerns. To combat some of these concerns and ensure safety, Pembroke, Ontario, a small city in Canada, is using a handshake symbol as a new solution to ensure safety. Their idea, while unconventional, could prove to ensure the safety of thousands of shoppers. If proven successful, Pembroke may transform the way people undertake online shopping.

Handshake Symbols Represent Safety

A handshake symbol is showing up in parking spaces all over the city. Pembroke’s police department, Pembroke OPP, gave a statement regarding the new handshake symbol parking spots. “The purpose of Project Safe Trade is to create a ‘community safety zone’ at an OPP detachment parking lot to facilitate online property transactions,” the OPP said in the news release. “Creating a ‘community safety zone’ is about moving online transactions away from secluded parking lots, personal residences or other areas and bringing them to a public place.”

Image Credit: CTC News Ottawa

Parameters of the Project

Amazingly, the handshake symbol spots, called “safe trade spots,” will be available 24 hours a day and will not require appointments. The way these spots work is simple. If you’ve purchased something online but have to pick it up, or pay, in person, the handshake symbol spots become a neutral meeting point. It’s important to note these spots will not be monitored 24 hours a day. This means there will be no police intervention, such as mediation or witnessing a transaction. In contrast, they will have available officers on the scene if a call or complaint is made to the city regarding a criminal matter. The area will be well-lit and conveniently located just off the highway.

Holiday Shopping

With the holidays upon us, things become even more hectic, and people often stop looking into all the transaction details. The handshake symbol spots have been developed in tandem with the holidays. Steph Neufeld, the safety unit’s captain, says, “The local launch of Project Safe Trade comes at an ideal time with the busy holiday season upon us. Online property transactions are ever-increasing and the UOV OPP is proud to be launching a community safety initiative aimed at decreasing offences related to online marketplace transactions,” He continues in the statement, “Collaborative approaches like Project Safe Trade can help to reduce harm and victimization in our communities.”

Going Beyond the Handshake Symbol

The handshake symbol parking lots are a great start, but there is more the city has incorporated into the project. In particular, one Canadian resident and professional. Carmi Levy, a technology analyst, offers helpful hints. While seemingly obvious, they can be forgotten during an overwhelming time like the holidays.

Levy said, Do your due diligence on the person that claims to be selling it. Look into their background, see what other things they’ve sold, look for information on how other buyers have dealt with them in the past.” Also suggesting people, “Insist on seeing the actual device that you’re buying before you hand over any money. Insist that they power it on. Insist that you make sure it works before you pay for it.” This is a great way to avoid being scammed and wasting your hard-earned money on something that just isn’t worth it.

Other Safety Suggestions

Other recommendations include going with someone you know and trust when engaging in online transactions. Save all interactions between buyer and seller, this includes voicemails, emails, or text messages. Additionally, shopping apps like ‘OfferUp’ and ‘LetGo’ tell you they won’t reach out for personal information. They suggest you use caution when doling out personal information with limited or only necessary information.

Furthermore, they suggest that you have those conversations strictly in the app. This ensures the conversation is logged in a secure environment so you can avoid giving your personal information to a stranger. For Canadian residents, specific to the Pembroke area, seeking handshake symbol parking lots can keep citizens safe this holiday season. Moreover, they can help bring higher levels of safety in years to come.

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