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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, October 01, 2023

Police charging bicyclists for traffic offenses

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department is coordinating stricter patrols of campus-area intersections with the city’s Transportation Enforcement Safety Team to crack down on traffic violations and safety hazards at busy crosswalks, according to UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott.

Madison Police Department Lt. Carl Strassburg said the TEST will specifically look for bicyclists who run red lights, because crosswalk collisions have caused seven fatalities this year alone in Madison.

“The focus on our part is education so we don’t have any more people injured or killed,” Strassburg said. Lovicott added “for the most part, bikers need to follow the same rules of the road as vehicle traffic does.”

TEST officers ticketed 24 bicyclists one day last week who ran the red light at the intersection of University Avenue and North Park Street, Strassburg said. He said most were college-aged and added 24 is a “pretty typical” number of citations.

According to Strassburg, the TEST monitors the intersection cornered by Grainger Hall, Chadbourne Hall, Mosse Humanities Building and Vilas Hall because it has been the scene of a high number of crosswalk accidents in the past.

Lovicott said the UWPD collaborates with the TEST on this project at the beginning of every fall semester to increase awareness. However, he said they are still committed to students’ well-being in other respects.

“There’s lots of issues out there,” Lovicott said. “But this is one of them, and this is an important one for everyone’s safety.”

According to Strassburg, the penalty is an $88.80 fine for a the driver of a vehicle who runs a red light and $63.60 for a bicyclist. He added bikers can overturn their ticket by completing a bike safety training class.

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