Cornell tries to cut accident rate

Sept. 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM
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ITHACA, N.Y., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., is conducting a safety program after 37 accidents in two years involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Officials at the Cornell University Police Department said until Sept. 30 it is emphasizing to the Cornell community and beyond that all users of the roads -- from pedestrians to bicyclists to motorists -- share rights and responsibilities to obey vehicle and traffic laws.

Cornell University Police Department officers will be conducting specialized traffic enforcement operations focusing on roadway violations committed by pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders including long boarders.

"Cornell Police officers will be standing near busy intersections answering questions, issuing warnings and handing out educational flyers to those commuters who fail to follow the rules of the road," Cornell officials said in a statement. "The main focus will be on pedestrians who cross the street improperly, step out in front of vehicles unsafely and fail to obey the crossing signals. Bicyclists and skateboarders will be educated as well."

Following the educational warning period, Cornell Police will conduct a two-day enforcement campaign to ticket those who disobey the rules of the road, officials said.

Of the 37 personal-injury accidents, approximately half involved pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders, officials said.

"To date in 2012, that ratio has increased to two-thirds of all personal-injury accidents, with some members of the Cornell community being critically injured," officials said. "In such accidents, the pedestrian, bicyclist or skateboarder has been frequently found to be at fault."

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