University of Utah implements new rules for skateboarders, bicyclists

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 2:42 p.m. MDT

Students on the University of Utah Campus Monday, July 30, 2012. Skateboarders and bicyclists at the University of Utah could face fines if they violate new sidewalk policies approved Tuesday.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Riders of skateboards, bicycles, roller skates and scooters will face fines and the impounding of their vehicles if they violate new sidewalk policies approved Tuesday by the University of Utah board of trustees.

The changes were made with the aim of increasing safety on campus and will penalize riders with fines and other consequences for violations such as speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians.

"We want to encourage the campus community to use sustainable transportation methods and live an active lifestyle, but not at the expense of safety,” Arnie Combe, vice president for Administrative Services, said in a prepared statement. “The policy changes allow us to make people accountable for being responsible and respectful on campus sidewalks.”

University officials will launch a safety campaign beginning Aug. 26 to educate students and the campus community about sidewalk use rules and safety habits. As part of the campaign, called Sidewalks Are For Everyone or SAFE, safety ambassadors will reward people for safe behavior, distribute brochures and report dangerous riding.

The new policy calls for a 10 mph speed limit for all non-motorized vehicles and prohibits skateboarding in parking lots and on roadways. Non-motorized vehicle riders are required to yield to pedestrians and are prohibited from riding on stairways, grass areas and benches.

Additional security staff will supplement and assist the university's Department of Public Safety in enforcing the safety policies. Violators will be given a written warning on their first offense but if a second offense occurs within two years of a written warning, the rider will receive a minimum $100 fine and have their vehicle impounded for 48 hours. Additional violations will result in an escalating schedule of fines and impounding periods.

"We want all sidewalk users to take ownership by being aware of their surroundings, including pedestrians, who can become distracted by texting or miss auditory signals when they wear headphones,” Combe said.

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