A recent spike in biking tickets on campus is attributed to an increase in pedestrian accidents, according to reports from the LSU Police Department.
In 2012, LSUPD reported 613 traffic crashes, 27 of which were bike or pedestrian-related accidents, said LSUPD Spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde. Of the 27 accidents, 16 took place in the fall semester, Lalonde said.
Lalonde said LSUPD stepped up enforcement in November 2012 and handed out 51 traffic violations to cyclists between then and Monday.
After the increase in traffic citations, LSUPD reported one traffic accident with bikers or pedestrians since November, Lalonde said.
Stop sign violations accounted for 30 of the 51 cyclist citations, Lalonde said.
Noah Baldridge, English junior, was issued a $152 ticket on his bike while riding across a crosswalk.
“I saw a guy on a bike hit an SUV during spring testing, but since then I have witnessed no accidents,” Baldridge said. “There are some individuals who ride like idiots, but a cyclist is responsible for his or her actions. It would be wrong to villainize every bike rider for the poor decisions of the few.”
Landscape architecture junior Greg Dahlke said he believes the police are just handing out tickets and not trying to enforce the law.
“I got pulled over for turning at a yellow light,” Dahlke said. “The cop said it would be my fault if I got hit. And my friend got a ticket for riding a bike across a pedestrian crosswalk. People don’t want to ride bikes anymore — they are worried about getting tickets.”
Tammy Millican, director of communications for LSU Campus Sustainability, said her office is working closely with LSUPD and Parking, Traffic and Transportation to enforce bike safety rules.
“We do know that the number of bicyclists on campus is steadily increasing, and that’s a positive for LSU and the environment,” Millican said in an email.
Lalonde said bikers should obey the same traffic laws as cars, including traffic signals and stopping at pedestrian crosswalks.
LSUPD has more information about biker and pedestrian laws on its website, the LSUPD Facebook page and through broadcast emails, Lalonde said.