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Beginning March 28, 2016, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Police Department will begin a six month traffic safety initiative to increase traffic safety in the campus area.  

Since 2014, UW Oshkosh has seen an increase in traffic accidents on campus, while seeing an increasing number of pedestrians who are crossing the roadways not protected by crosswalks or against traffic signals and those pedestrians who have “inattention blindness,” which is caused by walking and looking down at an electronic device.  

Over the past several weeks, data was collected by students from the criminal justice program and it was found that 37 percent of the motorists traveling on the UW Oshkosh campus do not wear seat belts. The research also found that 72 percent of pedestrians cross in areas unprotected by crosswalks or against traffic signals and 21 percent of pedestrians are utilizing an electronic device while crossing the roadway.

“Our officers will be on the lookout day and night for traffic safety violations in the area of the UW Oshkosh campus,” said UW Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold.  “If one of our officers stops you for a safety violation we are focusing on, you will get a ticket.  We are committed to making our community a safer place to walk and drive.”

In cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Bureau of Transportation Safety (BOTS), the UW Oshkosh Police Department was awarded grants to enforce seat belt violations and for OWI enforcement. These grants will allow UW Oshkosh officers to focus attention on traffic safety while still being able to maintain regular staffing levels for normal campus business.

UW Oshkosh Police Department will have Community Service Officers at key locations when pedestrian volume is heaviest to assist pedestrians and traffic flow at crosswalks, while educating pedestrians on applicable laws. Throughout this campaign, positive behavior will be rewarded with the possibility of receiving free gifts from the Police Department, including “Titan Tokens” and t-shirts.

“Our goal during this traffic safety initiative is to emphasize the importance of traffic and pedestrian safety, while strengthening relationships and building trust between the community and our Department,” Leibold said.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.