UConn Police Department offers safe driving tips in icy conditions


University of Connecticut Police department is advising students to take precautions on wintery roads (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)

With temperatures recently dipping into the single digits, if not below zero, the University of Connecticut Police department is advising students to take precautions on the roads.

“Be safe on the roads. If you don’t have to be on the roads, especially if it’s going to be bad conditions, most people ask that you stay off of them,” UConn Officer Justin Cheney said.

When temperatures are as low as they have been, Cheney said it’s a good idea to have appropriate supplies at the ready in case of emergency.

“In a nutshell, if you have to be on the roads, make sure you have as much gas as you can, try and keep your tank at least half full,” Cheney said. “Make sure you have blankets or extra clothing in the car in case you need to be outside of your car for whatever reason.”

Fourth-semester digital and media design major Harrison Burr said he does all this and also has a jump starter kit in his car, just in case.

“We always have the jumpstarter charged to full so we have more than one chance to jumpstart the car,” Burr said.

While cell phone use while driving is illegal, it is important to have your cell phone avalilbe in case of an emergency, Cheney said.

“Make sure that you have your cell phone charged so if you get stuck, you can call for us,” Cheney said.

Cheney also emphasized the importance of cleaning the snow and ice off of the roof of your vehicle, in accordance with Connecticut state law.

“On top of [it causing] damage to vehicles, it’s also a safety hazard when ice and snow comes off of people’s car,” Cheney said.

UConn police officers make themselves extra visible and accessible during bad weather, Cheney said.

“When we know that there’s going to be some inclement weather on campus, what we’ll generally do [is] when our officers are out, we’ll have cruise lights on… to make sure we’re highly visible, so people can flag us down,” Cheney said. “We’re patrolling our areas very closely.”

There has not been an increase in emergency calls due to weather so far this year at UConn, Cheney said.

Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at luke.hajdasz@uconn.edu.

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