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Mike Attersall/The Gauntlet

Campus leadfoots beware

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This year, for the first time, speeders on campus will have good reason to consider their actions.

Campus Security, in partnership with Parking Services, the Students' Union and the Calgary Police Service, will launch an inaugural Traffic Awareness Program on campus this September.

"A lot of people aren't aware of the speed limits on campus," said program co-ordinator Ryan Collyer of Campus Security. "Many drivers cut through campus from 24th Avenue to 32nd Avenue, so this is getting the idea out that we do have a lot of traffic on campus, and to slow down."

Collyer first conceived the awareness program during the winter of 2000 in response to an increase in the number of motorists on campus roadways. Senior security officers had also observed an increase in the speed of motorists on campus.

"I had the idea [of an awareness program] for a while," explained Collyer. "I put in a proposal to my manager which had to go through a few people to get all the departments on board, so it's been a little bit of a struggle. But it's come together very well and gained it's own momentum and people are very interested and supportive."

The program will consist of an initial two-week campaign using posters and information sessions to promote awareness regarding impaired driving, speeding, and playground zones on campus. The third week will be what Collyer describes as an "active awareness week," during which Parking Services and Campus Security will target certain areas on campus with a speed board provided by CPS and Parking Services. The speed board is a large display board which records and then indicates the speed a motorist is travelling. The boards will be set up in the playground zone by the campus daycare facility and on Collegiate Drive near the physical plant.

"Those are consistently the two areas where people tend to speed more," said Collyer. "You come off 24th Avenue and it's a nice long straightaway by the physical plant, but it's a 40 kilometre an hour zone. And although the playground zone by the daycare is very well posted, people don't seem very aware of it. We just want to prevent any possible incidents in that area, because it is a consistent problem."

Collyer emphasized that motorists on campus would not be penalized if exceeding the speed limit.

"We don't currently ticket speeders on campus," he said. "We don't ask Calgary police to enforce our speed limits and we won't be enforcing the speed limits with tickets, this is strictly an awareness campaign. Our goal is only to make people think."

CPS and Parking services were recruited for involvement in the program due to their integral roles in regulating the roadways both on campus and off, and Collyer is optimistic the campaign will be a success.

"I think it'll be a good campaign, even though it is a brand new one," he said. "If we can get one out of 50 people to stop at the board, that's better than no one at all, and then maybe the awareness will continue to rise."

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