November 30, 2010

CUPD Uses New Grants for Traffic Safety Programs

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The Cornell University Police Department recently received $28,900 in funding from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The money is divided into four grants to help fund programs that address various aspects of traffic safety.

Part of the money — a $6,500 grant — will fund the purchase of a new Datamaster DMT device, used to measure blood alcohol content.

“When people get arrested for DWI, we’ll use [the Datamaster] to measure their blood alcohol level,” David Honan, deputy chief of the CUPD, said.

According to CUPD Chief Kathy Zoner, the department applies for the grants every year and has received them in increasing amounts since 2001.

“We’re very proud of the grants we get. They come about in increasing amounts because of the hard work of our officers,” Zoner said.

“It’s been a couple of years now that we’ve received this funding annually. We don’t have any funds specifically given to us [by the University] for traffic enforcement,” Honan said.

CUPD’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program will receive $9,600 in funding. According to Zoner, the program targets motor vehicle violations that are “most commonly found in serious motor vehicle accidents.”

“A portion of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant was used last year to fund the pedestrian safety enforcement, which included the enforcement of both pedestrians and motorist regulations at intersections and crosswalks,” Honan said.

“We can use that for running safety enforcement, such as crosswalk violations, not yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks and stoplight enforcement. We look at what safety violations we have and identify target areas,” he said.

The second grant, totaling $3,500, will be used for child occupant safety education and enforcement. It will also fund training for officers to become certified in installing child safety seats. The Child Safety Grant has been given to the CUPD by New York state since 2003.

Along with safety in child seats, there has been increased enforcement of adult seat belt regulations. A third grant is for $9,200 and will be used to enforce seat belt laws. This grant will be used over time as Cornell participates in a mandatory New York state seat belt enforcement campaign, called the Buckle Up New York campaign.

Brendan Doyle contributed reporting to this story.

Original Author: Rachel Rabinowitz