Huntington PD Unleashes Jaywalking Blitz Around Campus

Sarah Davis, Lead Reporter

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the Huntington Police Department began ticketing those jaywalking around campus. 

Many students were surprised to see this type of patrol executed by the Huntington PD, sophomore Rimsha Kingson among them. Kingson had begun her walk back to her dorm when she was stopped by Huntington PD for jaywalking on Fifth Ave, The incident happened in front of the Memorial Student Center. Kingson did not notice the Huntington PD until she had already started jaywalking. 

“At that point, I already knew they were going to stop me,” Kingson said. 

Kingson crossed Fifth Avenue before a police officer directed her back to his car. Kingson received a $10 jaywalking ticket, which she can pay either at the Huntington police station or by phone.

According to an email sent by the university communications office, Marshall learned mid-Wednesday morning that the Huntington PD would begin a “targeted jaywalking blitz” around campus. This blitz began on Wednesday and will remain for “the foreseeable future.” The email, sent to all Marshall employees and students on Wednesday evening, also stated that the implementation could result in tickets and court appearances. The office concluded its message with a cautionary reminder to all that “crossing streets should only be done at crosswalks.” 

In addition to the jaywalk ticketing, the community learned of a new pedestrian safety campaign via email by the office of university communications on the afternoon of Thursday the 25th. This new initiative, “Heads Up Herd,” encourages students and staff to simply pay attention to their surroundings when crossing the street. The reminders that “Heads Up Herd” includes looking in both directions twice before crossing, looking up from cell phones, using crosswalks and following all other traffic laws.

Huntington Police Chief Karl Colder says that in addition to the speed limit changes enacted on Third and Fifth Aves. this past July, the jaywalk ticketing helps create a safer environment for the community of Huntington. Chief Colder also said that the execution of the blitz helps bring awareness to pedestrian safety, essentially “saving individuals from themselves.” He urges pedestrians to utilize the city-funded crosswalks to keep themselves safe and abide by state codes. Chief Colder also emphasized that the Huntington PD’s main concern is the safety of all pedestrians, including university students.