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City says get off your phone, UPD chief says slow down
February 12, 2015

City says get off your phone, UPD chief says slow down

City says get off your phone, UPD chief says slow down

The University Police Department expand efforts for campus safety by launching new procedures for the benefit of students such as: full scale active shooter exercises, an increase in mental health awareness for officers and a budget request for a 24-hour dispatch. The University Police Department is the primary respondent for emergencies and reports of criminal activity on campus.

By Oscar Gonzalez / @originalgamer1

Although a new ordinance to keep drivers off mobile handsets applies to Texas A&M University-San Antonio campuses, the university police department is more concerned with students exceeding the campus speed limit.

“Is (cell phone use while driving) a priority? No it is not,” said University police Chief Ron Davidson. “I’m way more concerned about (students) doing the speed limit than I am other issues.”

Under the Texas education code, university police have the same rights and powers as other police officers. Campus officers issue city tickets through the city of San Antonio.

For Chief Davidson, his concerns are for motorists to slow down on campus and make necessary stops.

“I’m a little more interested in people stopping at stop signs and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians because that’s another issue we have going on now,” Davidson said.

The San Antonio City Council passed the ordinance, section 19-255, November 2014 prohibiting use of a cell phone for calling, texting or gaming while driving. Those found in violation of the ordinance face a fine of $200.

A grace period for the ordinance throughout January 2015 provided the city one month to educate drivers about the new ordinance. During that month, the San Antonio Police Department issued 908 warnings to motorists who violated the ordinance. Authorities began issuing fines Feb. 1.

 

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