The Baylor Police Department and Department of Public Safety will start a bicycle safety program on campus that will include bicycle education and will bring awareness of new rules to students.
Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil said he helped come up with the idea of starting a bicycle program on Baylor’s campus.
“It was somewhat based on my experience from another university and a couple of incidents that we had here. I thought, ‘Maybe we should sit down and start analyzing the issues and come up with some solutions,’” Wigtil said.
Matt Penney, Director of parking and transportation, said momentum for the program started in the last year under the newly created Department of Public Safety.
“The Department of Public Safety brought [together] parking, the police department and a couple of other departments that have a safety focus,” Penney said.
Wigtil said education will play a huge part in the bicycle program in order to help keep both the bicyclists and drivers safe.
“If we all follow the rules of the road, everybody will be safer—the pedestrians, the mopeds, the cars, the bikes,” Wigtil said.
The education portion of the bicycle safety program is still being developed, but will be marketed in the spring semester through emails and social media. In addition, Baylor police and Parking and Transportation Services will make efforts to let people know about the expectations of the road.
Wigtil said there will be new rules in place that all bicyclists will need to follow on campus.
“The executive council has just passed it, and that’s the one we’re going to be rolling out so that everyone knows there is policy governing the use of bicycles on campus,” Wigtil said.
Wigtil said the basic rules of the road for bicyclists is one aspect of what this new bicycle program will focus on, including speed limits and how to proceed at intersections. Wigtil also said paraphrasing the “legalese” of the transportation code will help.
One of the benefits that may come out of this program is having bicycle lanes created all around campus, Penney said. In addition, students are being encouraged to register their bicycles in order to help recover stolen bikes.
“We think, by registering the bicycle with Baylor, we can make Baylor a lot less appealing to bicycle thieves,” Penney said. “Safety is the ultimate goal.”
There have been more than five cases involving bicycle thefts from mid-October to early November, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Penney said by registering bicycles with the university, Parking and Transportation will be able to communicate directly with those who ride a bicycle on campus.
“Target the questions, target the feedback—that’s another advantage of that registration,” Penney said. “We’re hoping to get that kind of feedback.”
Students who have bicycles on campus can register their bicycles on Baylor’s Department of Public Safety website. This online process is free.
Penney said he hopes the future of this program will be the safety of everybody on campus.
“The ultimate goal of the program is to make our campus safer,” Penney said. “To help them understand where and how to ride their bicycles, so not only they’re safer, but the pedestrians are safer and the motor vehicles are safer.”
Wigtil said he is pleased students ride bicycles on Baylor’s campus, and he wants to make the biking experience better and safer for that choose to ride on campus.
“Bringing us together [Parking and Transportation Services and Baylor Police Department] gives us the context and the contact to be able to address this,” Wigtil said.
If students want to get involved or express any concerns about bicycles, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.