A flipped over Kia, the damaged back of a black Sentra, a gray Honda front side ruined Baton Rouge police cars and black jeeps through a gate are all scenes one will expect to see in movies. However, over the last two weeks, these are the scenes both students and members of the Scotlandville area witnessed in live action.
These accidents occurred on and near the Southern University Baton Rouge campus on Sunday, April 17. One of the accidents occurred on the left side of the Southern University Law Center gate. Southern University Police Department Public Information Officer Marcquis Baldwin was on the scene of the accident.
When asked him what caused the accident and he stated “ A Southern University student was headed off campus driving southbound on Jesse Stone Avenue, as she was driving she realized that she was getting too close to the medium and in the process of maneuvering her vehicle to avoid colliding with the barricade; the student sharply maneuvered her vehicle to the opposite direction. By doing, so she accelerated too hard and crashed into the bricken metal fence on the side of the Law Center.”
Baldwin continued, “The student received minor injuries. She did have minor injury to her lip. EMS did arrive on the scene and was able to give her medical treatment. She was deemed okay and did not have to be transported to a hospital. Her parents arrived and escorted her away from the scene.”
Junior nursing major Jamar Gary stated his concerns regarding driving on-campus, Students should drive the speed limit and not be reckless.”
Junior computer science major Trevonte Lewis discussed his concerns about campus safety. “I saw the accident while going to the Union that night. I think we need to implement speed bumps on campus because people don’t take the speed limit seriously. If we implement speed bumps they won’t have a choice but to slow down.”
The other accident occurred on the end of the bridge (the Hump) at the traffic lights. This accident involved a pileup of four vehicles including a Baton Rouge police car. According to WBRZ, the Baton Rouge police officer had injuries resulting in hospitalization. No other injuries were reported at the time. After this accident Gary stated, “It was traumatizing to see it. Students should be a little more careful going over the bridge and try not to go so fast,” concerning this accident.
In lieu of these accidents, S.U. Police Lieutenant Angela Davis gave advice to students about vehicle safety to prevent further accidents. Lieutenant Davis stated that student safety is a priority for S.U.P.D. ”As a law enforcement professional, and in particular a campus police officer, one of our highest priorities is student safety.”
Davis continued, “So the advice I want to give to students about vehicle safety is first and foremost, always pay attention to your surroundings. For example, before getting into your car, do a quick check of the exterior and interior of your vehicle. Not only should you be on the lookout for anything suspicious , but also make sure your vehicle tires are not damaged or flat tires.”
Next, Davis discussed what to do if students see any suspicious activities. “Of course if you see anything suspicious, call campus police or 911 immediately.” Lastly Davis provides road safety advice, “Once you get into the car, always wear a seatbelt. And when driving, operate your vehicle as safely as possible, by obeying all speed limits, traffic signs and signals. Equally as important for students to understand, is that while driving, make sure to avoid any type of interaction that might lead to a road rage incident because that type of behavior could possibly lead to someone getting seriously injured or worse. And so, we firmly believe that if all of our student drivers follow these and other safety tips, they will enjoy a much, much safer driving experience.”
While it’s understood that no one likes having to take extra steps to get to their destination if they can help it, having the students do their own due diligence when it comes to their personal safety is a step in the right direction.