EKU Police have been handing out citations and fines to anyone who jaywalks on the first offense.
Until recently, officers gave a verbal warning to people jaywalking for the first offense. However, due to an increased presence of jaywalking since the demolition of the pedway over Lancaster Avenue EKU Police have begun giving students fines every time, said Bryan Makinen, executive director of public safety and risk management.
Makinen said the citations are being implemented in the interest of safety.
“We want to encourage everyone to use the crosswalks,” Makinen said. “And if that means they need to be encouraged because they get a citation then so be it.”
Fines for jaywalking start at $20 and come with a $143 court fee, meaning getting caught jaywalking one time can result in $163 worth of fines, Makinen said.
Makinen said EKU Police traditionally increase enforcement against jaywalking during the fall semester when new students arrive, but with the increase of pedestrian traffic due to changing parking lots and the loss of the Lancaster Avenue pedway, additional enforcement was necessary.
Makinen also wanted to emphasize that even when in a crosswalk, everyone still needs to be cautious.
“The crosswalk does not protect you” Makinen said. “The vehicle must yield to you, but there’s no hard barrier.”
To improve safety for students in crosswalks on Lancaster, EKU Police has an officer on duty at the Barnes Mill Road and Lancaster Avenue intersection Monday through Friday morning to ensure drivers are appropriately yielding to pedestrians.
Makinen also said there are ways students can ensure their safety in crosswalks by being alert and aware of their surroundings.
“What we want to have happen is that a pedestrian, before they step out into a crosswalk, makes eye contact with the drivers, make sure the drivers stop and are aware of their environment before they step out into an intersection,” Makinen said.