September 25, 2011

Cornell Police Focuses on Overlooked Traffic Violations

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This month, the Cornell Police Department is conducting an annual campaign targeting pedestrian, skateboarding and bicycling violations. While the police have been issuing warnings throughout the month, they will issue tickets to violators on Sept. 27 and 28. “We try to enforce all types of traffic violations throughout the year, but, unfortunately, certain as­pects get pushed to the back burner,” said CUPD Traffic Sgt. An­thony Tos­tan­oski.Cornell Police said that the program is not adding new rules or polices. The safety initiative is being funded by a $9,600 grant from New York State’s Traffic Safety Committee that allows more funding to go to traffic safety education. “This grant is nothing new, but it’s our opportunity to focus on an issue that gets pushed down the priority list,” Tostanoski said.This year, the grant has been increased to allow for two days of ticketing instead of last year’s single day, Tostanoski said.So far, this enforcement program has been focused on education, CUPD said.  During the campaign, officers have been stationed at areas of high traffic such as Ho Plaza and Day Hall. When the officers see someone violate a traffic law, they stop the individual, explain the offense to them and hand out an informational pamphlet that covers the rules and regulations that pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders must follow. “I have noticed people being spoken to more often about following rules better,” Georgia Somer ’14 said. “And the other day I saw a large group of people that got stopped for running across the street not at an intersection. After the police officer stopped them, he explained what they were doing wrong and then handed them all a flyer that talked about jaywalking.” Though the campaign is not targeted toward vehicular infractions, some drivers said it may help to make the roads around campus safer. “I definitely think this is a good idea. When I’m driving around campus, it gets difficult at intersections because large groups of pedestrians keep walking and I never have a chance to drive,”  Morgan Howard ’14 said. “I worry a lot that people will dart out into the street unexpectedly.”

Original Author: Erica Boorstein