Buckle up or get a ticket

Lydia Moneir

Image courtesy of Spencer William Goldbach
Different traffic violations across campus.

Many have speculated that police departments tend to issue the most tickets at the end of the month simply to meet quotas. UNF Student Robert Picard conducted a study to find out if this was happening on campus.

To the surprise and disappointment of conspiracy theorists everywhere, Picard, a computer science and history major, found there was no definite relation between tickets issued and days of the month.

Although Picard’s study found no definite trend, the Spinnaker took a look into UPD’s traffic ticket reports and found that drivers may want to be more wary around campus during certain months of the year.

If you drove through campus this past September, you may have noticed an abundance of encouragement to buckle up in the form of signs and a wrecked car at the intersection of UNF Drive and North-South Road.

As an added attempt to encourage seat belt use during the initiative, UPD issued a lot more tickets – almost six times what they issued in March of the same year.

This is because, as part of the state-wide Buckle Up program, UPD issued tickets instead of just warnings.

UPD Sergeant Dwayne Howard said UPD has to report how many seat belt citations were written to their national office as part of the program.

“That’s why most of the time, you get those high numbers — because it’s during those initiatives”, said Howard.

“During those times, we don’t write warnings for not wearing a seatbelt — we will usually cite the driver,” said Howard.

Students may want to be aware of this, as a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt costs $114.

However, UPD does not benefit financially from writing these tickets. The money they collect goes to Duval County.

Howard said the Buckle Up program began before it was illegal to not wear a seatbelt, and UPD has been told it is the most significant factor in reducing highway fatalities.

“We especially try to encourage safety belt usage because there is a lot of pedestrian traffic on campus,” said Howard.

Sgt. Howard said most people who get tickets are not actually students, but people passing through UNF.

Email Lydia Moneir at [email protected]