Traffic Safety on Campus

(Seton Hill Pa.) – “We are currently seeing a pattern of dangerous driving on campus, particularly instances of speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign. Seton Hill University is committed to providing a safe, pedestrian-friendly campus for all our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Accordingly, Campus Police will conduct targeted traffic enforcement on campus to address reckless driving behaviors. Community members are encouraged to abide by all traffic laws and to respect pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. We are confident the Seton Hill community will respond appropriately and encourage our friends and colleagues to drive with care for our fellow Setonians,” was written in an email sent out to all Seton Hill students on October 19. 

“We’re increasing the enforcement so that people are more aware that traveling through campus is the same as traveling through a regular community. They need to follow traffic laws and pay attention to signs. There’s no change to any rules, just stricter enforcement of rules that already exist,” said Seton Hill chief of police and director of public safety, Michele Proctor. “We have had an increase this year in reports of aggressive driving on campus. People passing in the wrong directions on Seton Hill drive, going the wrong way through Saint Mary’s circle, not stopping for the 4 way stop sign and Seton Hill drive and grotto, as well as Havey Clock and in front of Brownlee.”

“Our desire is to make the campus safer for people to walk around, as well as people who are commuting or operating a vehicle on campus so that they can feel comfortable doing so,” Proctor said. “We have a lot of crosswalks especially over by the dorms and there’s a shuttle stop out there and we have students who have hearing and visual impairments so we need people to be cognizant of those students and their needs.”

“Lots of people don’t stop at the stop sign wrapping around Admin, but the worst driving is coming up and down the hill. People don’t stay in their lanes and drive other cars too close to curbs including shuttles,” said an anonymous Seton Hill student. “Campus police should focus more on ticketing. Especially when residents are parking in A lot. People on campus don’t understand that it’s okay to walk a couple extra feet. I have to wake up extra early to drive onto campus and I need to park my car. They have their own spots. It happens most of the time when backing out in A lot cars speed through there making it nearly impossible.”

“I definitely have witnessed some reckless driving. It was mostly speeding while I was in the car trying to back out or trying to park in a spot,” said Diana Farraj, a student at SHU. “I have almost been hit by a car twice now. The first time was as someone was leaving their parking spot and failed to notice me right in front of their car. They weren’t backing up, but driving straight forward and they should have seen me clearly. The second time was when I was backing up and I had checked very thoroughly for any cars and yet, as I was halfway out of the spot, a car sped right behind me and laid on their horn.”

Farraj feels that the targeted enforcement is a “reasonable response” to the way people drive on campus. She said she is “actually a little surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”

Written by Ashley Grasinger