Many students from Monash University were dealt hefty jaywalking fines last Monday when attempting to cross the road at the Clayton campus bus loop zone.
Students caught at red pedestrian lights were issued on the spot fines by police officers patrolling the busy area. Multiple Monash security guards were also on site to help police with the task.
The actions were condemned by many people at the university, due to the lack of forewarning. The high price of the fines was also criticised.
Monash University second year law/arts student Sasha Brady said that while she
understood the necessity of jaywalking laws, the actions did seem excessive.
“If you have an area where people are likely to get hit or its going to stress out bus drivers and other vehicles then it is necessary to have strict measures in place” said Miss Brady.
“But if there is a problem on campus there’s better ways for the university to do that than sending in police to fine people.”
The 2009 Road Safety Act states that if a pedestrian light is red or orange and a pedestrian has not already entered, they must remain until the light turns green. If a person instead enters and is within 20 metres of the traffic control system, they can receive a fine of up to $76.
Mount Waverley police officer, Senior Constable Ian Goucomome said that the enforcement of jaywalking laws is done to protect people in the community.
“They’ve (jaywalking laws) been put in place to ensure safety on the roads. Vehicles have certain rules while they’re on the road and so do pedestrians.
Pedestrians are a vulnerable object on the roadways. So, they and everyone else need to take responsibility on the roads.”
Miss Brady said that the issue of jaywalking on campus was not handled correctly.
“It’s a bit exploitive, you know there will be students all around, the university haven’t given any warnings and haven’t made it public notice.
I feel like rather than sending in police to fine people, Monash could have put up signs or sent an email about it.
I understand the need for good road rules on campus but I think there’s a proper way to go about that.”
Word of the fines quickly spread throughout the university after a post warning other students was put up on the popular student Facebook page ‘Monash StalkerSpace’.
Fines for the offense are not common, according to Senior Constable Goucomome. However, there has recently been a crackdown in places such as the Melbourne City Centre, where there is far more foot traffic.
It is not the first time at Monash University that police have patrolled the campus for jaywalking. It has also occurred in 2011, 2013 and 2016.