UPD cracks down on skateboarding

issuing $52.50 fines.

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 11:14 p.m.

The University of Florida Police traffic unit will focus on skateboards with a special detail today.

Lt. Stacy Ettel said he will lead a detail of four motorcycles, four bicycles and a canine unit that will cover the entire campus between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Florida statutes bar roller skates and "any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device" from roads and bike lanes. Violators on the UF campus face a fine of $52.50.

The patrols are designed to educate skateboarders about following the law while respecting pedestrians.

"There's a balancing act that's involved," Ettel said.

Students often skate to class, especially in the northwest portion of campus, an area with dense pedestrian traffic, he said. Some skateboarders gravitate to the steep hills around Newell and Center drives, where they can reach intense speeds.

The traffic unit has similar details planned throughout the spring semester, Ettel said. They will take place on Wednesdays and focus on specific traffic-safety issues, such as scooter helmets and crosswalk violations.

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