UOPD cracks down on traffic violations this week
There will be more cops than usual around busy intersections near campus this week due to a new UOPD traffic enforcement campaign that began on Monday, Oct. 9.
UOPD spent much of last week patrolling the intersections and handing out warnings to those who broke road laws. Police aim to educate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists of the rules of the road and the consequences that could come from breaking them.
“Campus is very dense with vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, skateboards, etc., and can be dangerous when people don’t follow the predictable rules of the road,” wrote UOPD Spokesmen Kelly McIver via email.
The UOPD wants to set the tone for a safe year by having this campaign early in the academic term. Some of the issues that police hope to address are cars and bikes running stop signs and pedestrians crossing through the middle of intersections.
UOPD Sergeant Scott Geeting hopes that the campaign can educate students about the dangers of breaking the rules instead of punishing them.
“We would like to teach people as much as possible rather than to be punitive, so there is going to be a lot of extra officers specifically assigned to that rather than assigned to normal patrol they will be on traffic,” said Geeting.
The campaign will have extra officers on bicycles, motorcycles and in patrol cars. Geeting said it will the officers’ decisions to cite or give a warning. Often, accidents in those areas go unreported because they are at low speed and result in minor injuries and damage to the parties involved.
“If you look at any of those major intersection around campus at times like that when it gets crowded there is a lot of disregard for following the rules and that can cause a really unsafe situation for people,” said Greeting. “Somebody is going to get hurt eventually.”
The UOPD also posted an announcement of the campaign on its Facebook page on Oct. 2, which featured a video warning the campus community members to be safe and aware of their surroundings while crossing campus intersections. Geeting attributed the proximity to campus as one possible reason people disobey traffic laws so often. The campaign was a collaboration between Geeting other UOPD officers.
“The very first week that school opens up folks are kind of lost and confused and we didn’t necessarily want to make things harder necessarily for folks that didn’t know the area very well, but now that they have been here for a little bit longer we have had the time to get the word out,” said Geeting. “There’s been an expectation that driving behavior will be a little better.”