UO Traffic Safety Day will help cars, bikes, walkers share the road

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Jan. 12, 2009) – In a partnership between the University of Oregon Department of Public Safety (UODPS) and Eugene Police Department (EPD), Traffic Safety Day will help drivers, bikers, walkers and skateboarders learn how to better share the road. EPD will provide traffic enforcement and education on public streets near campus from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14.
With a variety of users on and near campus, UODPS and EPD have received numerous complaints about autos, bicycles and pedestrians committing traffic violations and threatening the safety of students, faculty, staff and other community members. The goal of Traffic Safety Day is to both educate users about the rules of the road and to enforce traffic laws.
"We want to increase awareness around safety issues. Because there are approximately 25,000 people on campus, it is important that everyone know and practice the laws," said Carolyn McDermed, deputy director/deputy chief of UODPS. "We want everyone to get to where they need to go safely. In addition to Oregon traffic laws, the university has its own set of policies for transportation on campus."
The majority of the safety day enforcement will take place on Agate Street, at 13th and 15th avenues, though officers may also patrol other streets near or on campus.
"There's a lot of confusion about who has the right of way at an intersection with cars, bikes and walkers," said McDermed. "One thing most bicyclists don't know is that they have to obey all the same rules that cars have to obey. A ticket for running a stop sign on a bike is the same as running a stop sign in a car."
Traffic tips/rules:
• Bicycles must follow the same rules as vehicles. This includes stopping at stop signs and lights and using hand and arm signals when turning.
• Bicyclists are required ride with traffic, either in the bike lane or to the right of the lane. Riding against traffic is illegal. Pedestrians should walk against traffic on the sidewalk.
• Vehicles must stop for pedestrians at intersections and marked crosswalks. Pedestrians must cross at intersections or marked crosswalks.
• Lights are required on bicycles while riding in the dark. A white light, which can be seen for 500 feet, must be in the front of the bike, with a reflector that can be seen from at least 600 feet away on the rear.
• Anyone walking, biking or skateboarding after dark is encouraged to wear reflective or light-colored clothes.
• Skateboards and bicycles are not allowed on UO pathways and sidewalks during normal business hours. Both must use designated bike routes and yield the right of way to pedestrians.
• Bikes registration with UODPS is mandatory for students, faculty and staff.
• Bicyclists must maintain control of their bike and have one hand on the handlebars at all time. Riders are encouraged to tie down loads on luggage racks or saddle bags.
Links: UO Department of Public Safety, http://safetyweb.uoregon.edu/