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New pedestrian-protective initiative commenced on IU campuses

It’s not a huge campaign by any means, but it is an obviously sincere commitment and intended as far more than symbolic.

And it is visible, which Indiana University officials, state regulators and police officers think is a key ingredient of a new multi-campus effort to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Notably, the initiative does not come with a catchy title, which architects of many accident-reduction programs clearly spend time focused upon (think Click it or Ticket, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and so forth).

What it clearly does feature, though, is a strongly professed hope. Namely, that is that increased motorcycle patrols on both the IU campus in Bloomington and at IUPUI in Indianapolis will curb the tragic consequences often seen with vehicle accidents involving vulnerable walkers and cyclists.

Those have been disturbingly frequent at IU and IUPUI in recent years. Reportedly, 90 vehicle crashes involving injuries to pedestrians and bicycles have occurred on those two campuses since 2015.

The new initiative aims to drive down those numbers. The Bloomington motorcycle patrol was literally rolled out last week. The IUPUI effort is scheduled to commence soon. The dual-campus initiatives as fully envisioned will have multiple officers splitting time each day on two specially outfitted motorcycles.

The focus will not be on “writing a bunch of tickets,” says an official with the IU police department. Rather, it will be on contact with the public and efforts “to change behavior and educate” both drivers and other individuals sharing streets and roads.

Given the high stakes involved wherever a heavy mixture of motor vehicles, walkers and bicyclists exists, every such effort across Indiana is obviously welcomed.

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