Provo Police: How to Prepare for the boys in blue

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When many students leave their homes and come to Provo they not only get a new lifestyle, they get a new set of laws and regulations.

Because of this, the Provo City Police Department wants people living in the area to be aware of the laws commonly enforced in this area.

Provo Sgt. Mathew Siufanua shared some little-known facts about the city’s various laws and citations. For instance, jaywalkers can be issued a ticket for up to $90. This is just one of many city mandates students may not fully be aware of.

“There are many different kinds of citations given in Provo,” Siufanua said. “The most common citations are traffic violations such as speeding, failure to stop at stop signs or fix-it tickets.”

Fix-it tickets are given when there is something wrong with the car you are driving, like a broken headlight or cracked windshield. Once the car is fixed, the ticket does not cost any money.

“The most accidents in Provo are located around the University and Bulldog intersection,” Siufanua said. “The place we catch most people speeding is North University.  We often find people going over 50 mph.”

If there is a noise complaint filed against someone in Provo, the recipient may be issued a $600 ticket. Sgt. Siufanua said the fine can be more than $600 if it takes a large amount of officers to break up the party. In that case, the ticket would also charge for the manpower used.

If an officer sees someone texting and driving, he can pull them over. However, that is not the case with talking on a cell phone.

“There is not a law against talking on your cell phone while driving,” Siufanua said. “You can get arrested for it if you hit someone and hurt them. The first thing we do is subpoena your cell phone records, and if we think there is a chance that you were using your phone, you can be charged with automobile homicide.”

Not all stories about getting pulled over are quite so serious. For instance, Doug Bush, a pre-business major from La Crescenta, Calif., was pulled over for speeding on his way home from the airport. After he and the police officer talked for a little while, things took an unusual turn.

“The policeman found out I went to BYU and he said to me, ‘One question, how do you feel about Colorado kicking Utah’s trash in the game?’ I didn’t watch the game so I calmly explained that to him. He then said, ‘Cause I thought it was great! Have a nice night!’ ”

Lauren Ricks, a social work major from Orem, was pulled over for neglecting to remove all the ice on her car.

“I got pulled over because I didn’t scrape my windows off all the way,” Ricks said. “I only did a circle so I could see. I got a warning for not taking the time to scrape my windows in freezing cold weather.”

To pay for citations, students must go to the Provo City Justice Court. This is located at 310 West Center St.  The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If a ticket is not paid in four to 15 days after it is issued, a warrant is placed for the arrest of the ticket recipient.

“If there is a warrant for your arrest, you can go to jail, go to a judge or pay a large fine,” Siufanua said. “There is a place on our website for people to check if they have a warrant.”

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