Shared Road... Safer Road

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

"The cars are stopping, or not stopping, and then the bicyclists are stopping, or not stopping, and then pedestrians are stopping, or not stopping. It becomes a mess," says UW Police Officer, John Deering.

But, beginning this week, University of Wisconsin Police in the campus and downtown areas aim to do a little spring cleaning.

"We're gonna be doing more enforcement regarding bicycles and mopeds," Deering says.

The officer explains the department will spend the current week issuing verbal warnings to cyclists and moped operators, educating both regarding the violations they've committed and offering pamphlets to help keep them riding in the right.

"Rather than just going out and issuing lots of citations, we like to let them know in advance that we're out there and that we're concerned."

Following this week of education, the enforcement phase begins, and those who haven't learned their lesson can expect to pay fines ranging between $100 and $200 per violation.

" Word of mouth is huge. I mean, every year we do this people say, 'Yeah, someone in my class just told me you were out here, and so I put my plate on my moped,' or, 'I don't ride my bike the wrong way anymore.'

Meanwhile, the Dane County Sheriff's Office encourages motorists to participate in the effort, as well, suggesting they leave three to four feet of space between bike and automobile.

Sheriff's spokesperson says, "It's just a matter of being aware of each other and making sure that you respect each other's right to the road, and follow the law. Slow down. Make sure that you are using your turn signals, and above all bicyclists should be wearing their helmets."

For more information on bicycle and moped safety, contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.

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