The brick walkway outside of the new Brown Building has introduced many students to traffic laws that apply to cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians. Rumors abound on campus about cyclists and skateboarders receiving tickets for not stopping at stop signs or failing to yield to pedestrians. Understanding the rules and regulations set forth by the state of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines is important.
First and foremost, Mines Public Safety wants to encourage the use of pedestrian-based vehicles. The “Live to Bike Another Day” campaign seeks to promote responsibility and safety. Officer George Hughes says, “We want to encourage riding as much as possible, but we want to encourage safety as well.” Officers at Mines want to educate before ticketing. They are currently using a three step program – stop, warn, and educate. These three steps are supposed to be followed before ticketing occurs, but it is up to the officer’s discretion whether or not offenders receive a ticket. If they feel that an offender broke the law to a sufficient extent, they will not hesitate to ticket.
Most tickets are twenty dollars. The officers may ticket offenders once for the city of Golden as well if the crime was committed on a city of Golden street. Most streets on campus are not owned by the Colorado School of Mines. This means that if an offender incites an officer enough, they may be ticketed twice, once for each jurisdiction. However, the possibility of this happening is unlikely. Students may also receive a fifty dollar fine for more serious offenses like clinging to a moving vehicle, disobeying an officer, or giving fake information to an officer. The most commonly ticketed offenses on campus are running a stop sign on a bicycle, failure to yield to pedestrians, and failure to stop at the intersection at 19th and Elm.
Public safety also offers many supportive benefits, but students must take the initiative to register their bicycle. Registering a bike is the first step to making sure that it can be returned if it is stolen. Public safety can more quickly locate registered bikes. Registration is simple and only requires that the bike be brought to public safety.
Further, the state of Colorado strongly suggests that bicyclists and skateboarders wear protective headgear and other protective clothing. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and dismount when they arrive at a crosswalk. If cyclists are riding on the roads they must signal at turns, stop at stop signs, and obey traffic signals.
The final word of advice from public safety is to park bikes properly. Parking bikes properly includes using a chain or some other locking device and parking them at specified locations on campus. Officers from public safety will be issuing fines for any bike that they find tethered to an unapproved location.
Students should be able to avoid tickets if they ride their bikes and skateboards safely and intelligently. For more information about about pedestrian, bicycling, or skateboarding safety, call public safety at 303-273-3333.