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E-memo: Focused enforcement of new Boulder crosswalk laws

 

TO:      CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff

FROM:    University of Colorado Police Department

SENDER:  Joe Roy, University Police Chief

DATE:    April 9, 2012

SUBJECT: Focused enforcement of new Boulder crosswalk laws

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Earlier this year, the Boulder City Council passed three new laws to make the city’s crosswalks safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Starting this week, the Boulder and University of Colorado police departments will focus enforcement efforts on these new laws. Specifically, UCPD officers will target high traffic areas of campus and continue ongoing pedestrian safety efforts.

I want to share with students, faculty and staff what these laws are and why they are important in order to maintain safety around campus. First, here are the three amendments to the Boulder Revised Code:

  • "Stop at crosswalk required" [7-4-77] stipulates that when one vehicle stops to yield for a person in a crosswalk, another vehicle cannot overtake and pass that vehicle.
  • "8 mph speed limit for bicycles in a crosswalk" [7-5-5] establishes a speed limit of 8 mph for bicyclists during the immediate approach, entry and traversal of any crosswalk that spans a roadway.
  •  "Pedestrian obedience to traffic signal required" [7-5-15(f)] targets the use of flashing crosswalks (those with flashing yellow crosswalk signs) by requiring a person crossing to enter the crosswalk with the warning device activated.

Possible penalties for violating the new laws are listed below:

  • Stop at Crosswalk Required [7-4-77]: possible $300 bond, $125 mail-in fine and 4 point violation
  • Speeding bicycles in Crosswalks [7-5-5]: possible $100 mail-in fine and 0 points
  • Pedestrian Obedience to Traffic Signals [7-5-15(f)]: possible $50 mail-in fine and 0 points

The City of Boulder recently completed its “Safe Streets Boulder” report, which analyzed data from motor vehicle collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Intersections surrounding the campus were among those with the highest rate of these collisions. While accidents will happen in areas where thousands of people travel every day, we can all do our part to reduce that number of incidents.

I’d encourage you to read pedestrian safety tips on the Police Department’s website at http://police.colorado.edu/crime-prevention-safety/pedestrian-safety. Among the tips:

  • Pedestrians should make themselves visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations. Make eye contact with drivers and pay attention to the environment around you.
  • Drivers should be aware of crossing pedestrians at all times, whether they are in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk.
  • Become familiar with the operation of the "high-intensity activated crosswalk" – or HAWK system – installed at the crosswalk that connects the Engineering Center with Regent Autopark. When the signal turns solid red, drivers are required to stop. When it alternates and flashes red, drivers must come to a complete stop and may only proceed if there are no longer pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Let’s work together to make the campus a safer place. Take the extra time to be aware of your surroundings and look out for other members of the community.