LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2005) — In response to the recent increase in the number of pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions on and near campus, the University of Kentucky is launching the PAWS (Pedestrian Awareness and Safety) campaign.
The goal of the project is to enhance awareness of pedestrians and drivers to the dangers of collisions and decrease the number of incidents.
UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. endorsed the PAWS program. “The safety and welfare of all of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is a top priority. We need to take measures to decrease the number of incidents that have resulted in injury and even death.”
The increase in collisions has been predominantly in the South Limestone area between Rose Street and Euclid Avenue. During the past three months, one fatality and one serious injury, both involving UK employees, occurred. In 2004, there were nine pedestrian and vehicle collisions; to date in 2005, five such collisions have been reported to UK Police.
The PAWS campaign will occur in three phases.
- A media blitz to announce to the community the measures that are going into effect.
- An allocation of additional police officers to the South Limestone and Rose Street areas. The officers will put an emphasis on distributing the educational PAWS pamphlets and issuing warnings for violations.
- The third phase will involve officers taking enforcement actions, issuing state citations for both pedestrian and motor vehicle violations. Research has shown that similar campaigns are not completely effective unless monetary fines are levied.