Safety Tip of the Week
"My bike is gone!"
Does that sound like something you have said? If you are a college student or live in a college town, it's very likely you use a bicycle to get around on the convenient pathways, trails and walkways where you live. Keeping in mind that the APM 35.35 prohibits bringing bikes into university buildings, what can you do to make it more difficult for a thief to take your property? Here are smart, affordable steps you can use to protect what is yours.
- Always lock up your bike, even at home.
- Make sure you lock it to a fixed object.
- Invest in two locking mechanisms, such as a U-bolt and chain lock, each greater than 6mm in thickness.
- When using a U-bolt or chain, use up as much of the space inside the bolt or chain as possible.
- Lock up your bike in a well-lit, high-traffic area.
- Don’t lock it up in the same location every time. Shake it up a bit!
- Register your bike through your local police department or a national registry.
The National Bike Registry website is convenient and makes it easy to register your bike. When you register your bike, you will be sent a tamper-resistant label to put on your bike and a certificate containing pertinent information. Registering allows local police to check if your bike has turned up anywhere else, and pawn shops will be able to easily report it as stolen property. In addition to the steps above, there is a lot of new technology available that is cost-effective, such as GPS trackers, Bluetooth-enabled chains with phone apps and more.
It is up to you, the owner, to take common-sense practical steps to protect what is yours. How much or how little you need is up to you!
As a pedestrian, there are a number of steps you can take to keep yourself safe, such as never assuming a driver can see you or will be able to stop in time to grant you the right of way.
Make sure you’re visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn or in inclement weather. According to NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
- Wear light colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
- Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
- If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.
Stay Alert – Avoid Distractions
- Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out.
- Put down your phone. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off the road and distract your attention.
- Don’t wear headphones. Your ears will tell you a lot about what is happening around you – be sure to use them.
Follow the Rules
- Think like a driver; know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
- Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Walk in Safe Places
- Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
- Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers.
- Avoid walking along highways or other roadways where pedestrians are prohibited.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Almost half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian casualties involve alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 34 percent of that total was on the part of the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your decision-making skills, physical reflexes and other abilities just as much on your feet as it does behind the wheel.
Yearly winter sand and gravel cleanup starts the week of spring break here at the University of Idaho; this year, that is March 12th – 18th. Generally, Parking & Transportation Services will post all impacted streets the week prior, advising students and staff to move their cars off the streets and into storage lots to allow street cleaning equipment to get to curb lines. No street parking is allowed in these areas until after spring break. Work begins on streets and walkways, and then the Hardscape team will move into parking lots. Meanwhile, the Landscape staff works to move gravel from the turf and into the street for easier collection by the street sweeper.
Anyone noting the street sweeper while driving should pay careful attention to it, as it makes sharp turns as it cleans the streets. Stay safely back and away from it until you are clear to pass, as rock can be thrown by this machine. Landscape staff using blowers and power brooms are using hearing protection, and they may not hear or see pedestrians approaching. Give them a wide berth as well for your safety.
Sand and gravel cleanup continues until all the campus hardscape has been dealt with. This can easily go up to and through commencement, depending on the severity of the previous winter. At the same time, other Facilities staff are working hard to clear the storm drains across campus of rock and debris that has gathered over the winter as well. Every year tons of rock and sand are gathered during cleanup, and much of it is re-used on campus gravel roads or elsewhere where winter rock can be of use again.
Be alert during this time for your own safety.
Weather during the winter and spring months can lead to water damage to buildings and the contents inside. Environmental Health and Safety, Risk and Facilities urge all university locations to inspect property and look for ways to prevent water intrusions and damage. We encourage reporting of large snow loads, frost heaves, cracks or fissures that drain snow melt into unwanted areas and freezing of pipes. If you notice any of these issues on the Moscow campus, please report your concerns immediately to Facilities 208-885-6246 so that we can work to prevent loss of infrastructure and resources in a timely manner. A water leak is an emergency – do not rely on voicemail. Outside of regular working hours, contact Security 208-885-7054. If a loss occurs, contact Risk 208-885-7177 immediately so an adjustor can be assigned.
What to watch for and report:
- Building exteriors: signs of heavy snow load or ice damming. Make sure drains are free of snow/ice and operable.
- Building interiors: signs of sagging ceiling components, doors and windows that do not open or close properly, wet carpet or stained ceiling tiles, cracks in walls or masonry and leaks.
- Noise: popping, cracking or creaking noises can indicate imminent trouble, such as structural collapse.
What you can do to help:
- Anticipate and take steps to prevent water from entering unwanted areas.
- Elevate contents (e.g., records, equipment) that may be subject to backup of drains or water from other sources.
Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold can cause health effects and symptoms. Reporting water intrusion immediately is extremely important because water should be dried out within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. If you have inquiries about ways to help prevent water intrusions and damage, contact EHS at 208-885-6524.
Flash floods and rising waters can occur quickly and are not uncommon on the Palouse this time of year. Please be wise about your actions when weather reports predict the possibility of this happening. Warning signs: unusually hard rain over several hours; steady substantial rain over several days; and rains in conjunction with a spring thaw.
Precautions to take: although these seem obvious, they are important!
- Remain aware and monitor local radio, television and go online for up-to-date National Weather Service alerts. If flash floods are possible, move to higher ground.
- Be watchful at bridges and low areas that could have rushing water and over running banks, especially Paradise Creek in Moscow.
- Avoid flood waters and fast moving creeks and rivers. Don't walk or drive into moving water. Just inches of moving water can knock you down. Read more about flood safety.
- Refrain from kayaking, inner tubing or doing any other water activity during flood conditions. Floodwater may be contaminated with oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Floodwater may also be charged with electricity from fallen power lines.
- Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. Moving water is very easy to underestimate. Driving through any sort of moving water can sweep your car right off the road, even in seemingly mild flooding as shallow as a few inches.
U of I will host the 2018 Idaho Music Educators Association (IMEA) All-State Conference on Wednesday, Jan. 31 – Saturday, Feb. 3 in Moscow. Nearly 1,000 participants and 100 vehicles and buses are expected with this event. Please stay alert, be visible and use extreme caution when driving and walking around campus during the four day conference.
If you notice a safety issue and/or have a concern any time, please submit the Report a Safety Concern form. This form can be submitted anonymously if desired.
Campus Security Offers Free Safe Walk Services
University of Idaho Campus Security wants to remind the Vandal Community about a free, 24/7 service it offers year-round called Safe Walk. This service is available to all students, faculty, staff and U of I visitors.
A quick call to U of I Security is all that is needed to request the Safe Walk service — no questions asked. A security officer will meet a caller any place on the Moscow campus and walk that person(s) to their destination on campus. U of I Security encourages the campus community to use Safe Walk when needed.
Call 208-885-7054, or an alternative number is 208-874-7550. For more information or questions, go to Safe Walk or contact U of I Campus Security at 208-885-7054, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.