Reckless driving on campus poses danger

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Cameron Krasucki

Cars come to a slow halt on Green Street before a stoplight on Sept. 30. Reckless driving on-campus is putting students in harm’s way.

By Adelina Garcia, Contributing Writer

Students insist reckless driving on campus results in near-accidents and poses grave danger for them.

Nick Beronio, sophomore in LAS, said that while he’s never been hit by a vehicle on campus, he’s come close to it.

Beronio said he was riding his bike across a lighted intersection when a driver who did not see him decided to cross as well. Beronio said he had to stop his bike to avoid being hit.

“I was scared for a brief second, but because I was able to stop before the car got to me, I think I felt fine,” Beronio said.

Beronio added he’s had a couple of friends who’ve come close to being hit by a vehicle on campus as well.

“I think there are many reckless drivers on campus because of the demographic making up campus,” Beronio said. “Most people here are between 18 and their early twenties, and people of this age are known to be less careful drivers.”

From the start of 2020 to mid-November, the University of Illinois Police Department reported 163 car accidents. Of those 163 that were reported, three involved a pedestrian.

 Sergeant Michael Unander from the UIPD said in his experience, most of the accidents he’s dealt with have been collisions with physical objects, not people.

 In an estimate, accidents involving pedestrians happen every couple of months, Unander said.

Unander believes there are more car accidents on campus because there are more people.

“We quite possibly have more people in the campus area than there are population-wise in the city of Urbana.

“Urbana, geographically speaking, is significantly bigger than Campustown, so when you pack that many people in a small area, your chances for having an accident, or something like that, are increasing,” Unander said. 

Beronio thinks many students who drive on campus may be under the influence of alcohol and smoking, as they are popular activities at the University campus.

However, Unander, who has been an officer at the University for 10 years, has seen driving under the influence drop in frequency with the help of companies such as Uber. The UIPD reported that one of the 163 accidents was caused by a DUI. 

There are typically more accidents when there is a change in weather, Unander said. He added that when it rains for the first time in a while, people tend to drive with less care.

Students with cars on campus have found the possibility of car accidents greater on campus than in their hometowns.

“While I’m driving (on campus) I’m a little more hesitant to go the speed limit — I go a little bit slower,” said Bella Arnotti, freshman in LAS. 

“Especially around the Activities and Recreation Center, or where bus stops are because people are always crossing and trying to get to the bus stop, or whatever, and not looking.”

Now 18, Arnotti said she got her license when she was 16 years old and considers herself to be a careful driver. She said she’s had no history of traffic tickets.

Arnotti said she doesn’t regret bringing her car on campus as she can use it to travel off-campus, where she said she has an easier time driving. Still, she said she wishes driving on campus would be less difficult.

“It’s so hard to drive safely when you’re stressed about your surroundings,” Arnotti said. “And I feel like there’s nothing the University can really do about it.”

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