Wed11132019

Last updateWed, 13 Nov 2019 12pm

News

Aggressive Driving on Campus

Aggressive DrivingChief of the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD), William McElrath, sent out an email to all current staff members and students regarding the issue of aggressive driving on campus on Tuesday, Oct. 22. 

Recently there has been an increase in the number of accidents on campus, and MUPD has received multiple complaints entailing aggressive driving. 

This year, there has been a 25 percent increase in accidents from September 1st through October 24th as compared to number of accidents during the same time period last year. Twenty accidents have been documented so far during the fall 2019 semester, while there were only 16 accidents at this time in 2018.

McElrath explains that most of the accidents have been minor. Even so, the University is still receiving a variety of complaints about vehicles driving too fast and vehicles disregarding stop signs. 

In the email, McElrath writes “Please remember that the speed limit on campus is 15 mph that drivers are required to obey all traffic signs, and that drivers must always yield to pedestrians.” 

Although drivers are expected to obey the speed limit and stop for pedestrians that has not always been the case this school year.

Many of the accidents were a result of speeding and the avoidance of both traffic and stop signs.

While some students are responsible for the aggressive driving, other students have encountered it on campus. Julia Mianowski, a freshman social work student, explains how sometimes it can be dangerous to be a pedestrian in the school parking lots. As an employee at the school store, she has witnessed aggressive driving various times while on her way to work.

“Whenever I’m trying to cross the street by the university store, there are always cars driving too fast and not really looking out for students,” Mianowski said. 

In another instance, Mianowski witnessed a student driver aggressively beeping their car horn at pedestrians who were trying to cross the street. She offers her opinion on these aggressive drivers. “They need to calm down. There is no need for this aggression.”

Students are not the only ones who have witnessed this kind of driving—staff members too have observed the behavior of drivers on campus. Noel Belinksi, a Lecturer of English, shares her knowledge of the school parking lots. 

“I have experienced aggressive driving, frequently during the time classes end or begin.” Belinksi provides reason for this aggression, “Students seem to be in a rush to leave or get to class.” 

Though there have been students who were “gracious” drivers, Belinksi admits there are many students who do not “regard” others in the parking lots.

As for accidents on the school grounds, Belinksi discloses that she has never been in one; however, she knows of many people who were. 

Belinski suggests that accidents are prominent because there are many students who are “new drivers” that are still developing their road skills. This is the main reason Belinski feels driving “can be dangerous” on campus.

To eliminate this danger, Belinski believes action needs to be taken. “A crossing guard might be something to look into to stop the accidents,” she says. 

Crossing guards can be a solution to the problem, but, according to McElrath, there are other measures that can, and will, be taken to combat this issue. 

To resolve the matter of aggressive driving and accidents on campus, McElrath suggested that discipline is key. “I believe the best way to address the situation is through a combination of education and enforcement,” he said. 

Accordingly, the University police has begun an “enhanced traffic enforcement campaign” in hopes of eliminating aggressive driving on campus. This includes emphasizing the 15 mph speed limit, yielding to pedestrians, and following safety measures that are currently in place. 

McElrath explained that MUPD has already started working on this campaign, “We are currently identifying problem areas and monitoring them.”

The campaign will be engineered to educate students about the assigned road rules and regulations, which will now be more greatly enforced.  MUPD has already “notified the campus community of our concerns and our increased enforcement efforts,” he continued. 

McElrath believes these concerns and increased enforcement efforts will make the community, and each of its parking lots, a safer place. Presently, students are encouraged more than ever to follow the campus rules and regulations, including, not ignoring, those that regard driving. 

 McElrath ensured that MUPD will “continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action to make the campus safer.” He thanks students in advance for their cooperation, and advises everyone to buckle their seatbelts, and drive safely.

The email sent to students specified that MUPD will begin their traffic enforcement campaign immediately.

PHOTO TAKEN by Sarah Curtis

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu