Bike registration aims to combat bike theft on campus
Students are now able to register their bikes for no cost as a part of University efforts to ensure bike safety.
Bike registration can be done through myParking account on AccessUH and the process is free. If a bike is lost or stolen, this new program helps the UH Police Department in facilitating quicker recovery.
“It is also very important when having a bike on campus to get it registered,” said Capt. Bret Collier, who runs field operations for UHPD.
“Ideally, the student would have registered their bike with the University. If they have, we will have sufficient information to try to locate the bike at pawn shops, through Craigslist or via several other avenues of resale that we commonly pursue.”
Students who do not register their bikes will have a harder time recovering them, since a serial number is associated with each bike.
In addition to this, UHPD has also installed security cameras on bike racks to discourage theft. The cameras that monitor bike racks on campus are a partnership between the UHPD and UH Information Technology.
According to Collier, bike thefts happen regularly across the UH campus, primarily affecting bikes with inferior cable or chain locks.
Architecture sophomore Mary Gee that she wished the cameras were set in place earlier for the safety of her bike, but are grateful they are there for current students.
“I got my bike stolen about a year ago, and then they didn’t have you register your bike or have cameras on it,” Gee said. “I wish they would’ve had this set in place a year ago when I had my bike stolen.”
Gee added, “I’m actually glad that they have it now for future students that want to ride a bike on campus so they don’t have to worry about if it’s going to get stolen, and nothings going to get done about it.”
For additional security, Collier suggests students get a U-shaped bike lock to secure the bike. This would ensure the lock goes through both the bikes frame and the wheel.
Although, even with these new measures in place, construction management junior Myles Price doesn’t feel safe leaving his bike alone. Instead, he’s more comfortable keeping it in his room.
“When I owned my old bike, I was concerned about it being stolen, especially because it was an electric bike and pretty flashy,” Price said.
“I didn’t feel safe leaving it around campus, even locked to a bike rack. To keep my bike safe, I bought and used multiple bike locks, a bike alarm and also had bike insurance as well.”
Any bicycles left at bike racks by the end of the semester are tagged for a period, according to Collier. After this period, the bikes are removed to ensure that everyone else has space at the bike racks to properly secure their bikes, and the removed bikes can be claimed at a later time.
Collier emphasized the importance of having students register their bicycles.
“These efforts go a long way to significantly reducing the loss of bicycles by theft on campus.”