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Police add motorcycle cop to combat campus traffic infractions

Florida Atlantic University police have beefed up traffic enforcement by adding their first motorcycle cop this semester.

Officer Curtis Stewart has received his motorcycle endorsement on his driver’s license and completed a two-week state certified police motorcycle course.

Stewart spends eight hours of his day on his Harley Davidson Road King with a police package motorcycle to ensure that drivers follow traffic rules and don't put students' safety at risk.

“The FAU community thinks that when they arrive on campus, the laws of the roadway do not apply and that the speed limit on campus is not real and cannot be enforced," Stewart said.

"Since this is a college campus, I know there are a lot of stressed out individuals walking, bike riding and skate boarding. I make it a part of my duties to slow down the risk of the pedestrian traffic being run over,” he said.

Stewart has been busy. He made 242 stops from Aug. 1 to Nov. 6.

The campus has "a high-density population in a small area, a lot more cars and a lot more pedestrians. We don’t want people getting run over or run into,” said Charles Lowe, FAU’s chief of police.

Stewart concentrates on Lee Street, which is a major speeding area, and FAU Boulevard, which has many pedestrians crossing the road.

Stewart periodically rides by the Henderson School area on the east side of the campus at arrival and dismissal times to assist traffic and parking personnel and the Henderson school resource officer and to make sure the traffic is flowing smoothly.

Police officials say that students who get around campus by foot risk getting hit because they may not be paying attention and because many drivers do not obey the traffic laws.

Zach Nimhauser, 20, a business major, skateboards to class every day and has had some close calls.

"I can count many times when I was skateboarding to my car and drivers didn’t pay attention and almost hit me,” Nimhauser said.

David Thomas 22, a communication major, expressed his frustrations.

"Many drivers are distracted with texting, their Ipods, and putting on makeup. And that puts us, the pedestrians, at risk," Thomas said.

That's where Stewart comes in.

“Riding a motorcycle is an added benefit compared with being in a patrol car. It allows me to see and hear more than I would normally in car. Plus it attracts more attention and the motoring public becomes more aware and alert when they see the motorcycle,” Stewart said.




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