UF student senate says bicycle violators deserve a first warning


Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 1:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 1:50 p.m.

The student Senate has unanimously approved a resolution that urges the University Police Department to issue warnings to first-time-offense bicyclists on the University of Florida campus.

The resolution was approved at the Senate meeting Tuesday night.

According to Florida law, bicyclists are to be fined as any other motor vehicle committing a traffic offense, according to University police Capt. Jeff Holcomb, who spoke to student senators.

The current philosophy of the department is to give first-time traffic law offenders on a bicycle a warning instead of a citation, Holcomb said.

"We do want to enforce, but we can enforce that through warnings versus citations," Holcomb said.

Student body representatives said they would like for written warnings and educational brochures given to first-time offenders to become a mandatory policy for University Police. The resolution makes an exception for bicyclists who were at fault in a collision, in which case they will be issued a citation.

Another resolution passed by the Senate calls for a ban on the use of tobacco, in any of its forms, on the UF campus.

The current ban is for smoking within 50 feet of a building.

The resolution's authors and sponsors said enforcement of the current law takes too much effort and a complete ban would substantially reduce tobacco prevalence on campus.

The resolution will move on to the ballot for the current semester.

At the meeting, the senate also filled two vacant seats.

Amy Pittman, a mechanical engineering junior at UF, took the engineering replacement senate seat and Adam Lee, a third-year law student, was elected to the elections commission.

Jason Cornman won the senate seat 54-18 over Travis Baker for The Rules and Ethics Committee.

The education, graduate, law, journalism, Family Housing and District A senate seats remain vacant.

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