Here’s what a handshake symbol on a parking space means

In Pembroke, Ontario, new parking spots at the OPP station on 77 International Dr. display a handshake symbol, marking them as safe zones for online transactions. These areas, part of “Project Safe Trade,” aim to reduce risks associated with private meetups for online purchases. The spots are available 24/7 without appointments.

“The busy holiday season is approaching, making this the perfect time for the local launch of Project Safe Trade,” said Steph Neufeld, commander of the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP detachment. “Online property transactions are on the rise, and the UOV OPP is pleased to be initiating a community safety initiative aimed at decreasing offences related to online marketplace transactions.”

Const. Mike Mahon cautioned, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Particularly if you’re asking that they meet here and they’re really hesitant, then you should be concerned.”

The OPP will not mediate transactions but will intervene if necessary. For extra safety, meet in busy public places, bring a trusted person, conduct transactions during daylight, and keep all communication records.