By Nicole Despotopulos
WORCESTER —Worcester State University police are now able to enforce the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90, allowing them to issue citations to motorists who violate provisions of this law.
Kevin Slater, Director of Transportation and Parking, sent out an email on March 30 giving the rundown on the new abilities that campus police have.
“Please take note that Worcester State University police officers will soon be enforcing state laws that call for state of Massachusetts citations to be issued. In the interest of promoting safety on campus, we will begin full enforcement on 3/29/15.”
Slater then delved into the specifics of what the law entails and how it differs from the previous situation.
“Campus police handled only severe violations, like DUIs. They did not have the ability to write a citation like they do now. They had the ability to arrest motorists for violations, but they had to bring them to the Worcester Police Department,” said Slater.
Worcester State campus police could only issue warnings for small infractions in the past, like speeding or going through stop signs. The only difference now is that they have the ability to give tickets out like State Troopers or any other Massachusetts police officer.
“Police officers went through the SSPO (Special State Police Officers) training to prepare for the enforcement of this law. When finished, they get a card from the colonel confirming they are actual police officers working at Worcester State,” Slater explained.
The citations are categorized either as a written warning, a civil infraction, or a criminal arrest. A written warning is when there is a violation, but nothing has to be done with the ticket. A civil infraction is issued if you are caught going through a stop sign – you may have to pay a fine, or go to a hearing. A criminal arrest means that there was a serious motor vehicle issue such as drunk driving, and you will be brought to court.
“I think it’s going to make students realize that driving violations and unsafe conduct on campus are serious,” Slater said. “Some take it serious, some people don’t. Some say they are more careful driving on the road than they are here, when statistically there are more pedestrians and 100 percent more distractions. It will be a safer environment here.”
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