Student struck on campus
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 23:09
A University of Southern Mississippi student riding a bicycle across the 4th Street crosswalk near Century Park and the parking garage was injured Sunday evening after being hit by a car, said Chief Bob Hopkins of the University Police Department.
The student was taken to Forrest General Hospital, kept overnight for observation and released Monday, Hopkins said.
Though no arrests have been made, police said the vehicle believed to have been involved in the incident is a white, late-model SUV, possibly a Cadillac, with a spoiler and a luggage rack. Hopkins said the vehicle was traveling west on 4th Street around 6 p.m. when it struck the student and fled the scene.
Hopkins added that at the 15 mph school zone on 4th Street, “several thousand tickets are issued over a year.”
In lieu of the accident, Hopkins said now is the time to remind students, faculty and staff to be cautious when traveling on campus and to pay close attention around crosswalks and bikers.
“More and more students are relying on other forms of transportation besides the motor vehicle,” Hopkins said. “We ask that all patrons traveling to any locations in or around campus to be extremely conscious of the rules of the road, as well as those who share the road with you like walkers, cyclists and those using skateboards.”
No matter the mode of transportation, those using the roads, crosswalks or sidewalks must pay attention to his or her surroundings. Refrain from looking down at the ground or at a cell phone while crossing.
Hopkins also advised that music volumes should never be too loud to hear a car horn or emergency vehicle sirens. Hopkins added the public should remember that bicycles must adhere to the rules of the road. Yield for pedestrians, signal intent to turn or stop, follow the speed limit, activate lights at crosswalks, check both ways before crossing and stop at stop signs.
Travelers are advised to be cautious, careful and prepared to act.
“You may be doing everything right, but always watch for others who may not be paying attention,” Hopkins said. “Make eye contact with drivers as you cross the road to ensure they’re paying attention. If you’re driving the vehicle, notice the 15 mile-per-hour school zones set up near campus.”
Hopkins said accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles could be completely avoided if both parties paid attention at all times and took the steps necessary to ensure safety on the road and crosswalks.
Jordan Holliman, a sophomore finance and business double major from Ocean Springs, said he was shocked to hear about the incident.
“I wouldn’t say that crosswalks are unsafe. It’s certainly less dangerous than crossing elsewhere, but I think that pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings,” Holliman said. “It is the driver’s responsibility, but the bottom line is the car is going to win if you get in the way of it, so you really need to take it upon yourself to be aware of the situation.”