Milwaukee police to monitor campus for traffic violations

Students should be on the lookout as Milwaukee police have been paying a keener eye to jaywalking on campus. Photo by Aaron Ledesma/[email protected]

Milwaukee police officers will be on the Marquette campus in the coming days to increase enforcement of pedestrian and traffic laws, in an effort to increase awareness of the law before winter weather increases the possibility of danger on the streets.

The Department of Public Safety released a news brief Monday alerting students to the increased enforcement. The brief warned students of possible fines ranging from $63 to $76 for violations, which include jaywalking and speeding.

Director of University Communication Kate Venne advised students to comply with the officers, citing a concern for safety on the road and on crosswalks.

“We want students to stay safe and that they follow all pedestrian and traffic laws,” Venne said.

MPD approached DPS last week, informing them that officers would be on campus to increase awareness of traffic safety. DPS Lieutenant Paul Mascari said that the plan is not unusual, especially considering the worsening conditions students will face in the coming month.

“With the winter weather coming, (MPD) focuses on traffic safety,” Mascari said.

He speculated that Marquette was targeted because of its location on a busy city avenue with many pedestrians.

Mascari advised students to not walk against the light, saying that ice-covered roads may make it difficult for cars to stop suddenly. He also noted that in addition to Marquette students crossing the street, motorists driving through the area will encounter increased enforcement as well. DPS itself does not have the authority to issue citations and will not cite students caught breaking pedestrian laws.

Many students have expressed opposition towards the increased amount of enforcement, especially to the possibility that they may be ticketed for jaywalking.

Gwen Lemming, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said that students, as adults, should not be punished for making their own decisions, even if they do go against the rules.

“I think it’s kind of unnecessary,” Lemming said. “We are all college students and I feel we are able to cross the street without being ticketed. It’s not a big enough deal to ticket us for it.”

Mario Drago, a fifth-year senior in the College of Engineering, said he could understand the rationale behind MPD’s effort but still found it inconvenient.

“I guess it’s legitimate,” Drago said, “considering how Marquette students swarm the streets all the time and create a hazard for themselves and cars. But I guess it’s tedious when you’re trying to get to class.”