News You Can Use from the Office of Public Safety
Sometimes we learn what’s easiest the hard way. Last year, only three of all the bicycles reported stolen to the Andrews University Office of Public Safety had a chain or lock. Many were not registered and there were cases where the owner could not provide details on the bicycle, i.e., make /model, serial number, bicycle type.
Therefore how can you, as a bicycle owner, take the easiest step and skip learning the hard way? You can prevent a bicycle theft by securing your bicycle. Secure your bicycle frame and not just the bicycle tire. It makes the bike a much harder target and brings on more suspicion for a thief who now has to cut through the chain or try to break the lock.
If you register your bicycle with Public Safety, here are some benefits:
If your bike is stolen, you substantially increase the chances of getting it back. The cost is $5. The registration form will allow you to enter such information as the model, type of bicycle and serial number. It is also a good idea, for your records, to take a picture of the bicycle
You won’t have to find those red tags (Notice of Abandonment) that you’ll see around campus telling the bicycle owners that they need to repair and/or register their bicycles. These tags can also be a warning that a bicycle may be removed from Andrews University property to a storage facility. (If no one claims the impounded bicycle for a period of 60 days, the bicycle will be turned over to the local police as abandoned property). Public Safety is not responsible for any incidental damages that may occur to bicycles or locks during the impoundment process.
During registration, you may indicate your willingness to donate your bicycle when your student status expires. The bicycle can then be sold at a bike sale or donated to a local charity organization, providing a prior agreement has been made with you during the registration process. (If a registered bicycle is abandoned and not claimed within 60 days, this bicycle will also be sold a bike sale or donated.)
You have proof of ownership. If your bicycle ever turns up stolen, lost, or missing, we will already have a detail description with the serial number, your name as the owner, and how to contact you. Otherwise, you’ll have to provide proof of ownership either by a picture of an identifying mark, or a receipt with the serial number of it. The proof of ownership also comes in handy if someone mistakenly identifies your bicycle as their lost bicycle because it’s the same color/model/shape, etc. All we need is the registration number of your bicycle and this can verify that you own it.
- Finally, if your lock gets stuck or frozen in this Michigan weather, you’re entitled to the free service or your lock being warmed up, or your chain cut to free your bicycle without having to prove that you own the bicycle. Without being registered, you may not be able to prove that you own the bicycle, and you will be left with your walking shoes–not as speedy as a bicycle!
Come to Public Safety and register your bicycle! Fill out a registration card and place a bicycle registration sticker in an unobtrusive spot on your bicycle. The charge can even go onto your student account and you can register it on the same day you register your vehicle.
A few handy tips for Bicycle Safety:
- Secure your bicycles in designated areas
- Stop at all stop signs
- Travel with the directional flow of traffic on campus roadways
- Yield to pedestrians
- Your bicycle should have proper reflectors and lighting when riding at night
- Wear proper safety gear (helmet, etc.).
- Keep your bicycle in good mechanical condition and the tires properly inflated. (An air station is available on the South side of the Grounds building.)
- Always lock your bicycle to a bike rack.
To report a bike theft occurring on campus, contact the Andrews University Office of Public Safety. To report any bike theft that occurs off campus contact the police department. You are responsible for your bicycle’s safety, so be certain that it is locked and occasionally checked on when not in use.
Learn more at http://bicyclesafe.com.
-Written by Officer Bryan Parris, Public Safety