Students receive frequent traffic citations on campus

Daily Sundial

Weaving in and out of traffic or dodging pedestrians to make that class you’re late for may land you a ticket that you cannot afford.

This year alone, the CSUN Police Department has issued an average of 24 citations a week. Many of the tickets have been issued for a number of code violations, such as unsafe speed, failure to stop at stop signs, failing to yield to pedestrians, and various equipment violations. Around 70 percent of the stops on and around campus are CSUN students or people associated with students, police said.

“Drivers should seek to drive in a unimpaired manner, watch out for pedestrians reduce speed and slow down during the rainy season,” said Lt. Fred Fernandez of campus police.

In an effort to provide safer roadways for the community, several times a year the CSUN Police Department works with other agencies, such as the Los Angeles Police Department Traffic Division, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Unified School District Police, and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol Task Force to enforce speed, and yielding to pedestrians.

Phillip Sellers, patrol officer with the LAPD Devonshire Division, said the amount of tickets given usually depends on the time of year. He said that when school is in session, more speeding and jaywalking tickets are handed out. Sellers said speeding is more of a problem on Nordhoff and Plummer streets and along Zelzah Avenue.

Joe Harris, senior recreation major, said he has seen more police pulling drivers over during lunchtime, and especially on Friday and Saturday nights near the dorms.

“I think that it is a good thing, because of the area we are in and the age of the students who are driving,” Harris said. “There are many young drivers who drink and drive and this is a good way to stop the problem.

Sellers said on average, the Devonshire Division gives out 10 tickets a month per officer around the CSUN campus. He said the division focuses more on crime in the community than on traffic violations. Throughout the San Fernando Valley, officers average between 10 and 15 traffic citations a week.

Harris said he believes it is a good idea to do this a couple of times to show police presence in the community. But if they are doing it to just write tickets, and not for the safety of the community, it is wrong, Harris added.

“I know that a pedestrian has the right of way, but it is frustrating to see students not even using crosswalks, which causes major traffic, especially on the corner of Etiwanda and Plummer,” Harris said.

“It is illegal for an officer to set a speed trap,” Fernandez said. “A speed trap is not the act of hiding. It is defined as using two separate points such as two light poles as reference to estimate the speed of a vehicle.”

Bryce Johnson, senior biology major, said it seems suspicious when you see more than one officer and more than one car pulled over at any one time.

“I don’t believe that it is right for a cop to hide in someone’s driveway, behind cars or hidden at night in the dark with no lights on,” Johnson said. “But that’s the risk that you take when speeding. If you get caught, it’s your fault.”

Sellers said those who drive need to be more aware of their speed, pay attention to all pedestrians and crosswalks, and yield at all times.

He added that this is the top reason people get hit.