New police chief provides travel safety tips as fall semester gets underway on West Lafayette campus

The new police chief for the Purdue University Police Department (PUPD) is sharing travel tips as another academic year gets underway on the West Lafayette campus. Chief Lesley Wiete started in her new role earlier this month, and she is reminding students, faculty, staff and visitors to put safety first while navigating streets, sidewalks and bicycle paths.

“As a 22-year veteran of PUPD, I know how busy campus can get during peak times,” Wiete says. “It is absolutely crucial that those traveling on and around campus, whether it be by car, on foot or by motor-powered vehicle, pay attention to their surroundings and obey all posted signs and signals.”

Wiete is asking the campus community to practice the following safety tips:


  • Walk on sidewalks. Do not walk in the roadway, if possible.
  • If there is no sidewalk, use multiuse paths where they are available.
  • Keep alert at all times. Do not be distracted by electronic devices.
  • Always use crosswalks, marked midblock crossings and intersections where drivers expect pedestrians.
  • Look for vehicles in all directions, including those turning left or right.
  • Comply with the pedestrian signals at locations where these safety devices are deployed.

Bicycles, skateboards and electric or motor-powered vehicles (EMPVs)

  • Wear a helmet and bright clothing or reflective gear.
  • Use the roadways according to Indiana state law, West Lafayette city ordinances and  Purdue University Parking and Traffic Regulations. Use bike lanes or multiuse paths whenever possible.
  • Comply with the bicycle signals at locations where these safety devices are deployed.
  • Keep alert at all times. Do not use cellphones or other mobile devices to talk or text while biking or riding.
  • Check your transportation device regularly to ensure that it is equipped with working headlights, taillights and reflectors.

Motor vehicles

  • Look for pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and EMPV operators.
  • Be ready to yield. Know the state laws pertaining to interactions with pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and EMPV operators at intersections and midblock crossings.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk or midblock crossing.
  • Stay alert and slow down where large groups or children may be present, including near residence halls, dining halls, apartment complexes, neighborhoods, parks and recreational areas.

Additionally, students, faculty and staff in need of an escort to and from campus buildings for safety purposes may use the Safe Walk Program 24 hours a day by calling 765-494-SAFE (7233).

More information about transportation on campus is available on Purdue’s bikes website, under the Riding on Campus tab.

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