If you have ever tried getting to the Cal State Northridge campus during peak hours, you know how difficult it could be just to get across the street if you are walking, or get to the next stop sign if you are in a car.
Never fear, the Traffic Safety Unit is back in gear. The unit is made up of two motorcycle officers.
After an 18-month hiatus, the Traffic Safety Unit has returned to focus on traffic control. They make sure cars stop at stop signs, pedestrians are given the right of way, make sure that drivers are not on their cell phones and pedestrians pay attention as well.
“Safety is a two-way street,” said Capt. Alfredo Fernandez, commanding officer of the Traffic Safety Unit. “Pedestrians and drivers have to be aware of their surroundings and the safety hazards created whether it is loud music in their car, pedestrians listening to their iPods, or cell phone usage for both.”
Last month, the unit completed a multiagency task force operation on Reseda Boulevard to crack down on motorists who did not yield to pedestrians. The sting came in collaboration with the CSUN Department of Police Services and the LAPD Valley Traffic Division. On Darby Street and Reseda Boulevard, plain-clothes officers walked across the street where drivers are suppose to yield to them and other pedestrians. Those who did not yield were given traffic citations.
“We hope to have another pedestrian safety program like the one that occurred on Sept. 2,” Fernandez said. “We are in the planning stages for future operations later this academic year.”
Two other projects are in store for the unit: “Hang It Up,” a cell phone campaign to remind motorists not to use their cell phones when they are driving, and Project PED.
Project PED (Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Deterrence) is an enforcement and educational campaign planned for later this academic year. It’s an effort to educate both pedestrians and motorists on the inherent risks on roadways in and around the CSUN campus.
Fernandez said another tool used to ensure traffic safety for the CSUN community is email@example.com. The community is urged to send in concerns or suggestions on how to improve the traffic on and around campus.
The motorcycle officers patrol a one-mile radius around campus, but target areas immediately adjacent to CSUN such as Darby Street and Vincennes Street, where cars tend to speed, rarely yielding the right of way to pedestrians.
Fernandez said the greatest asset of this new unit is its maneuverability “a perfect combination of a patrol car and a bike.” He said the motorcycles are more maneuverable than police cars, and faster than bicycles, making them the excellent vehicle for traffic safety.
The CSUN community is urged to contact Parking Enforcement at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (818) 677-6866 with any traffic safety concerns.