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Traffic Enforcement Is Law Enforcement...and Good Crime Prevention

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 37 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2007 Pages: 17,19,24
Robert P. Mueck; Laura Dyer
Date Published
April 2007
7 pages
This article discusses why traffic law enforcement is important in campus policing and offers suggestions for establishing components of such programs, using examples from the University of Maryland campus traffic law enforcement program.
Campus traffic law enforcement should have high priority not only because it saves lives and prevents serious injury and costly property damage, but also because it often leads to the identification and arrest of drivers wanted for various crimes. Sobriety checkpoints are important in and around college campuses because college-age students are at high risk for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The objective of a DUI checkpoint is not just to apprehend impaired drivers, but also to change people's behavior at drinking establishments. When word of a checkpoint gets to friends who are still at a bar, it can be a deterrent to excessive drinking. The University of Maryland campus police selected a location for a DUI checkpoint adjacent to the campus, where it allowed officers to pull suspected drunk drivers safely off the road for further sobriety tests. Details of checkpoint design and procedure are described. The University of Maryland police in cooperation with the county police developed a pedestrian safety plan and enforcement program that targets drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians, educates the public, and improves design for areas where pedestrians and cars share space. Another traffic enforcement program involves campus police in partnership with multiple law enforcement agencies in countering aggressive driving. During random waves of concentrated enforcement, police focus on such aggressive driving behaviors as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, improper lane change, and negligent driving. State and county public safety agencies should be contacted about grants that may be available for various campus traffic law enforcement efforts.