The holidays are a warm and joyous time on West Virginia University’s campus. From the annual Woodburn lighting ceremony to community service projects like Toy Mountain, the University offers many activities for students to get into the holiday spirit. The University Police Department wishes everyone a happy holidays, and reminds students to be safe – whether staying on campus or traveling home.

Students are reminded that incidents of theft on campus increase at this time of year as more people are away. Crime Prevention Specialist Sgt. Peggy Runyon says to make sure your belongings are properly secured. Leaving property, even for a few minutes, is all it takes for a thief to strike. If you forget to lock your residence hall door, storage locker or vehicle – or if you leave property unprotected – you may become an easy target. Don’t let a thief ruin your holiday.

“The best advice we can give is don’t leave valuables, including holiday packages, unattended and in plain view,” Runyon says. “Eliminating the opportunity is the key to crime prevention.”

Chief Bob Roberts offers a few tips to help reduce problems if traveling by car:

  • Plan your trip so you are rested. Many accidents occur when drivers are tired. Also, please wear your seatbelt, bring sufficient money for gas and plan to take extra emergency money for unexpected problems. Call parents or family members to let them know when you are leaving and when they should expect you to arrive. If you are delayed for any reason – call and let them know you’ll be late. Make sure your cell phone or media device is fully charged. Make a point to have your vehicle winterized to include tires, wipers, battery and fluids. If you have car problems, pull well off the roadway, activate your emergency flashers, stay in your car, raise your hood and place a piece of cloth out of the window to alert an officer that you need assistance.”
  • Avoid aggressive driving or aggressive drivers. Avoid following too closely, and always try to leave a large safety cushion between your vehicle and the vehicles around you. Respect the speed limits and traffic laws, reduce your speed to compensate for changing road conditions, and leave your headlights on – even in the daylight. Weather conditions can change quickly and without warning. Slushy or wet road surfaces can turn to ice in a matter of minutes; road surfaces such as bridges tend to freeze more quickly than other road surfaces.
  • Trust your instincts, if something does not look or feel right, it probably isn’t. Remember, being safe should never take a holiday.

-WVU-

pr/12/13/11

CONTACT: Chief Bob Roberts; WVU Police
304.293.2677; Bob.Roberts@mail.wvu.edu

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