CSU Police Targeting Pedestrian Safety with Teddy Bears and Ticket Books

University Police Chief Rus DrewCOLUMBUS, Ga. - Jaywalkers beware this week, but those following the rules might get a nice surprise.

Armed with teddy bears and stress balls, Columbus State University Police will be out in force later this week, on and around campus, looking for people who are obeying the laws that keep pedestrians safe.

Of course, officers will still have their ticket books handy for violators, but the purpose of this campaign is to reward good decisions. The CSU Police Pedestrian Safety Campaign on Thursday and Friday is a partnership with Safe Kids Columbus and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, said University Police Chief Rus Drew.

Officers will target crosswalk areas around both the main and downtown campuses, he said, looking for violations and also distributing educational flyers, stress balls and teddy bears to motorists and pedestrians.

They will also be checking car seats and seat belts to ensure that children a properly restrained.

Good decisions could lead to a teddy bear gift. Bad decision could lead to a ticket.

“Most of the students will be gone by the end of the week, so this will give us a good chance to target local residents and CSU staff with this campaign,” Drew said. “We do regular education efforts with students and are planning a similar pedestrian safety campaign with them next year.”

Police offer some basic rules to greatly reduce the possibility of a being involved in an accident:

* Pedestrians should always cross the street at corners within marked crosswalks where available.

* Pedestrians should look both ways before crossing the street and pay particular attention to turning cars.

* Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and “walk” and “don’t walk” signs.

* Pedestrians should wear light colors or reflective clothing when walking at night.

* Motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, particularly while making right turns on red. Failure to do so can result in fines and points against the individual’s drivers’ license;
which also carries costly insurance surcharges.

* Drivers should remember never to block or park near or in crosswalks. Keep your windshield clean and be alert for pedestrians especially near schools or in areas when there is a
high volume of pedestrian traffic.

For more information, contact Rus Drew, chief of police at Columbus State University, at 706-568-2022.