Local officers offer holiday travel tips

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014

By Ngoc Vo

With the holiday season coming to Pike County, travel safety should one of the many concerns as citizens prepare for upcoming family gatherings.

According to Lt. Bryan Weed, with the Troy Police Departmemt, extra precautions should be taken when on the road during the holidays.

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“There will be a lot more traffic on the road and more congestion,” Weed said. “People should leave themselves with plenty of travelling time to get to their destination. More law enforcement officers will be on the road with the purpose to ensure everyone has a safety holiday season.”

Weed also advises travelers to alwyas wear their seatbelts on and to obey other traffic laws.

John McCall, Troy University Police Chief, said people should make sure they get plenty of rest before getting on the road.

“Try not to drive tired or in a hurry,” McCall said. “People should also notify somebody at home when they travel, so family members can know what time to expect them. If one deviates from the traveling plan, the family should be informed.”

Pike County is entering a period of bad winter weather and risks should be considered when travelling.

“The main thing to know is that any time during severe weather with strong winds and thunder storms, people should stay out of the roadway as much as possible,” Weed said. “If you are on the highway and get caught in severe weather, especially possible tornados, you should find a safe building for shelter. Your car is not a safe place.”

Weed recommends travelers to watch the weather and to always be prepared. Another good tip is to know the contact number for highway patrol on ones’ travelling route.

For the festivities in the holidays, Weed also suggested people drink responsibly.

“If you’re going to be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver,” Weed said. “It’s for the safety of yourself and others on the highway.”

During the holiday season the Troy PD reports a high rate of property crimes, according to Weed.

“We recommend students or anyone who leaves their residents for the holiday break, if they have any valuables, they should take with them or let the apartment complex manager know that they are leaving,” Weed said.

People are also advised to make a list of their valuables and take pictures of them. Weed said the documentation will help law enforcement officers during investigation to identify ownership if they can locate stolen items.

Students often get victimized during the fall break, McCall said. Troy University Police does not have many property theft cases but students should be wary leaving their vehicles on campus when they leave for the holiday.

“We encourage people to securely lock the vehicle and leave it in a well-lit place,” McCall said. “Don’t leave valuables visible in the car. If possible, vehicles should be parked close to the police station.”

The station is closed for the break on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but there will be officers on duty patrolling the campus. If students need assistance, they can call 911, McCall said.