Safer streets

DPS strengthens enforcement of traffic regulations

Area law enforcement will be cracking down on pedestrian and traffic safety violators in Big Rapids.

On Nov. 11, officers will spend several hours monitoring walkers and drivers along South Street, State Street and Ferris Drive.

According to Director of Public Safety Martin Bledsoe, the enforcement is due to Pedestrian Safety Task Force recommendations finalized in April 2010.

“Drivers complain that students step in front of them,” said Bledsoe. “Students complain that cars are approaching them too fast.”

The Pedestrian Safety Task Force includes members of local and state government, as well as students, faculty, staff and extended members of the community.

The increased traffic enforcement follows the task force’s “Three E’s,” which also include engineering and education.

“Enforcement is truly an extension of the education component,” said Bledsoe. “Of course we hope our presence will be a reminder to people that voluntary compliance is the best conduct, but in enforcement, some more stern reminders become the tool of choice, reminders in the form of tickets.”

Bledsoe said student response to DPS’s safety enforcement has been positive. He also said the increase in law enforcement is due to seasonal change. According to Bledsoe, students tend to make hurried commutes to classes during colder months.

Ferris dental hygiene major John Haynes said he agrees that DPS has done a good job of maintaining pedestrian safety on campus. As a result, Haynes also said he has not experienced any dangers while commuting to classes this semester.

“I think DPS has been pretty good so far with enforcing traffic violations,” said Haynes.

Participating law agencies include FSU’s DPS, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police-Reed City Post and Big Rapid’s DPS.

“We want to keep it safe for everyone,” said Bledsoe.

For more information on the recommendations of the Pedestrian Safety Task Force, contact DPS at ext. 5000. n