The CSUN Department of Police Services has always enforced traffic laws around campus, citing students for speeding, rolling through stop signs or not following directions at a yield sign.
However in 2009 the San Fernando Valley has already seen 10 deaths regarding pedestrians and automobile drivers not following the rules at stop lights, stop signs or other traffic laws.
Officers and students around campus have become more aware of pedestrian safety through Project P.E.D (Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Deterrence) with the increasing number in pedestrian deaths around the San Fernando Valley.
‘It’s a good thing,’ said Angela Hagopian, senior child development major referring to Project P.E.D. ‘You don’t want to come to school and think you’re not safe in any way.’
CSUN Department of Police Services has conducted many enforcement and educational programs such as Project P.E.D. over the past couple of semesters.
‘Project P.E.D. is and enforcement and educational tool brought together to raise awareness of pedestrian safety around campus,’ said Capt. Alfredo Fernandez.
Many students along with Hagopian have noticed a lot more CSUN police officers citing drivers around campus.
‘Almost everytime I drive to campus I see someone pulled over to the side getting a ticket,’ said Vahan Khodanian, freshman finance major.
Sophomore business management major, Miguel Aguilar seemed to have agreed with his fellow schoolmate.
‘I have definitely seen more police officers around campus with multiple cars pulled over,’ said Aguilar.
Along with Project P.E.D. the CSUN Department of Police Services has the Hang It Up campaign where officers focus on drivers using their cell phones while operating an automobile.
Some students think these campaigns will help control the traffic around campus, but at the same time some other violation may be missed.
‘Yeah, it has its pros and cons,’ said Hagopian. ‘It’s a gamble, because you don’t know how many people will speed or use their cell phone one month versus another month. So if you’re only focusing on students speeding, then you may miss the other student on his cell phone.’
Other students around campus believe the traffic law campaigns are a good idea and should keep the student crosswalks safe.
‘I think it’s a good thing and provides a safety to the students around campus, especially when it is dark outside,’ said Alex Nitescu, junior civil engineering major.
Chris Quevedo, senior mechanical engineering major also thinks it is a good idea what the CSUN police are doing.
‘You don’t want another unfortunate incident happen, especially here on campus,’ said Quevedo.
Capt. Fernandez said they usually notify students about the Project P.E.D. campaign before they set it up. There is no specific time of the year when the CSUN Department of Police Services begins the campaigns. ‘Students may sense a pattern, so we do them at random, but do hand out flyers a week before each campaign.’ Capt. Fernandez said they actually see an increase in citations around the time of Project P.E.D.’ ‘The citations range, but the most common violations we see are rules at stop signs, yielding and drivers using their cell phones.’
However, Fernandez said speeding can be the most common problem around campus because students are either late for class and are in a rush or are frustrated and want to leave campus.’
Khodanian said students who show their frustration in driving are bound to get caught, especially around campus were the speed limit is only 20 miles-per-hour.
The citations handed out by the CSUN Department of Police Services are treated as regular citations and must be paid at a Los Angeles County Courthouse.
Students have become more aware of traffic signs and regulations around campus since Project P.E.D. started.
‘We just want to support a safe traffic environment for the students on campus and the surrounding community,’ said Capt. Fernandez. ‘