University Police ranked best in traffic safety

After hours of educating the public and enforcing seat belt laws on campus, the USF Police Department’s efforts have finally paid off.

The USF Police Department won the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge Awards on June 20, ranking them among the best in traffic safety out of law enforcement agencies statewide.

University Police Lt. Chris Daniel said his agency had to submit a booklet to the award program showing the department’s policy for seatbelt use, seatbelt and DUI enforcements and its role in the buckle-up program.

“We have to educate the students about the buckle-up program by speaking to them in the residence halls and during orientation to tell them what the enforcements are, and why we have them,” Daniel said.

Daniel added that his agency had to submit an effectiveness survey to show that drivers on campus were complying with the policies.

“We had to do a survey of 100 cars passing during a period of time and record how many were wearing their seatbelts before the enforcements and then afterward,” Daniel said.

Although the Click-it or Ticket program is not a primary stop law, Daniel said irreparable damages could occur beyond a traffic violation.

“As a law enforcement agency, we encourage everyone to buckle-up; the seatbelts are there for a reason, and it only takes a second to buckle-up, as well as a second to lose a life in an accident. So it makes sense to protect (yourself),” Daniel said.

UP was awarded third in car video systems, second in portable breath testing units and first in Kustom Signal’s Pro 1000 DS radar system.