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Oct. 1: Pedestrian safety education begins at UD

UDPD and Office of Student Conduct to collaborate on jaywalking sanctions

The University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) has begun a new collaboration with UD’s Office of Student Conduct (OSC) to enhance education around pedestrian safety. Beginning Oct. 1, 2018, students who violate city or state law when crossing the street may receive an educational referral to OSC rather than a traffic violation. The new procedure is designed to reduce student injury and death by connecting students at the first sign of need with critical information related to pedestrian travel.

Walking along or across roadways is governed at UD by Delaware state law and a City of Newark ordinance. Those stopped for “jaywalking,” or unlawfully crossing the street, are often surprised to learn that they do not have the right of way when they step into the immediate path of a car, even if they are stepping into a crosswalk. Another lesser known regulation is that crossing outside of a marked crosswalk is always prohibited between adjacent intersections that have traffic-control signals in operation.

Prior to this new protocol, jaywalkers received a traffic violation and significant monetary fine through the court system. OSC staff are hopeful that students who instead undergo a referral to their office and a one-hour educational seminar will still learn how to better protect themselves on campus roadways, without experiencing a financial and legal burden.

“We are so fortunate to welcome students from all over the world to UD,” said Regina Donato, assistant director for OSC. “With protocols like amnesty, the limited records release policy and this new initiative, we are always thinking of ways we can help educate students on how to be safe and how to be great citizens within the campus and local communities they’re a part of.”

Jaywalking has been linked with several student injuries in recent years, and is also cited as the primary cause of traffic congestion throughout downtown Newark.

“We look forward to working with our campus partners on this program, aimed at educating our students about the importance of pedestrian safety,” said Captain Jason Pires of the UD Police Department. “We understand that we are not only not responsible for keeping the campus community safe, but we embrace the fact that we are part of the educational process here at the University.”

Questions about the new protocol can be directed via email to Regina Donato, (rmdonato@udel.edu) in the Office of Student Conduct or Sergeant Adrienne Thomas at (adeben@udel.edu) of the UD Police Department.

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