Campus police vehicles conducted a special traffic enforcement campaign on Cornell’s campus, as well as its surrounding roads and streets from April 24 to 27.
The traffic safety campaign — which targeted motorists who speed or use their cellphones while driving — was funded through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant from the New York State Governor’s Highway Traffic Safety Committee.
STEP grants provide funding to help state police enforce laws prohibiting dangerous driving, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website.
Police on patrol last week were looking, in particular, for speeding and tailgating — the two main contributors to property damage and motor vehicle accidents that occur on campus, according to Sgt. Anthony Tostanoski of the Cornell University Police Department.
There was a decline in the number of tickets Cornell Police issued in the campaign this year compared to last year, which Tostanoski attributed to increased enforcement efforts.
In 2011, CUPD issued 314 speeding tickets, a decrease from the 320 it issued in 2010. Cornell Police also wrote 217 tickets for cellphone use or texting in 2011, down from 280 in 2010. There was a nine-percent decrease in motor vehicle crashes from 2010 to 2011, according to the CUPD.
“With all of our traffic safety grants, our number one goal is to reduce traffic accidents and improve the overall safety of our roadways,” Tostanoski said.
CUPD has been awarded STEP grants for at least the last eight years, according to Tostanoski. This year, however, the grant awarded was significantly smaller.
“This year we were awarded $5,704 for the grant, which is approximately one half of what we had received last year,” Tostanoski said in an email. “Federal budget cuts trickle down to the state and local levels.”