UCAPD promotes campus safety for new, returning students

The UCA Police Department has continued to take steps in order to maintain safety on campus, such as monitoring crosswalks between classes and ensuring that they are being used properly.

As freshmen transition into their fall semester, crosswalk safety becomes essential because many students coming from various small towns, have never used one.

Apart from that, students often think because a car is not coming, it is safe to walk out into the street.

However, cars typically drive up to 40 miles per hour on the roads surrounding campus and can make sudden turns, not thinking to pay attention to crosswalks or students.

It is far too easy to look away from the road for one second and have to slam your breaks for a student walking across the street, even when traffic signals are telling cars to “go.”

Distractions exist for drivers and pedestrians using the crosswalk. Despite texting and driving laws, drivers can get distracted by a phone call or the use of GPS through their cellphone, while students walking across the street at the improper time are also looking down at their phones and not paying attention to the road.

Scenarios like this are not often thought about in the moment, but can lead to disastrous consequences.

Increasing proper crosswalk use awareness ensures safety for both pedestrians and drivers. When students use crosswalks, instead of running across the street when the road looks clear, we are also helping traffic run at a steady pace.

If one car has to make a sudden stop in the middle of the road, then two or three cars can build up before the student makes it across the street. While this is happening, cars are already building up at the designated crosswalks that students should be using, causing traffic build-ups in various areas instead of one.

It may seem overbearing to wait at a crosswalk while a police officer stares back at you, but his or her duty is only to protect students.

The UCA Police Department is also reiterating campus safety through various reminders sent to student’s emails.

Defining safety and security as everyone’s responsibility, UCA considers itself a community apart from the city of Conway. This attitude should drive students to look out for each other, especially freshmen who are not accustomed to UCA.

This means setting an example for those students, as well as everyone else. If you see a student stepping out into the street before the crosswalk signal cues them to, let them know the police department can (and will) stop them for doing so if they are caught. No one wants to get stopped in front of a bunch of peers for something so easily prevented.

Students are also urged to look out for each other through the “buddy system.” UCA is a big campus, and walking across it at night, unattended, makes you an easy target.

With September here, so is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, and UCA has scheduled various programs to raise awareness and promote safety about topics that most students have encountered, or will encounter for the first time.

UCA encourages students to attend the scheduled events to learn truths about drugs and alcohol and the effects they have on students.

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