Rider is our home away from home, a place where we should feel safe and comfortable. We should not have to worry about impending danger as we walk this campus. However, it is becoming clear that some students either have a lack of awareness, or simply a lack of care for how their actions can affect the lives of others.
On Monday, a student veered off a campus road and into the Spitz Theater. This accident comes on the heels of a crash at Rider’s gates, when a student died weeks before his graduation day last May.
Thankfully, in Monday’s crash, no one was seriously injured. But we cannot just shrug off this event as a mishap. It is fortunate that no one was hurt in a situation where the injuries could have been copious. Someone could have been walking on the sidewalk, only to be crushed by the out-of-control vehicle. Students were in class when the car crashed through the wall, and someone there could have easily been injured.
These possibilities should send a powerful message to Rider students: Be responsible when driving. In May, the student’s blood alcohol was over the legal limit, and he tested positive for marijuana. The student this week was charged with driving under the influence, assault by auto and possession of drug paraphernalia. Obviously, these students were not being responsible when they got behind their steering wheels.
The speed limit on campus roads is only 15 mph. There is no reason to speed, regardless of how late you may be. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 30% of motor vehicle deaths in 2012 were caused by speeding, and 38% of those accidents occurred on “minor” roads such as those here on campus. Speeding and reckless driving aren’t worth saving a few minutes, and if you get into an accident, you’ll be really, really late.
We, the students, are the main occupants of these roads, and therefore we are the ones who are responsible for keeping them safe. We often lose focus in the whirlwind of our busy lives, but we cannot let that chaos lead to danger and mayhem on our campus. Reckless driving can be witnessed in all corners of Rider’s campus, at all hours of the day. From driving in the pouring rain with no headlights in the dead of the night, to blowing through stop signs and whipping around corners, Rider students don’t seem to understand the terrifying power that they are gripping in their hands when they are behind the wheel.
We obviously have a problem on our campus and something needs to be done. This issue is solely in the hands of the students. We need to take responsibility, grow up and act like adults, and realize that while we have the ability and the power to kill, we also have the power to protect everyone on our campus.
So wake up and stop being childish — and make sure your friends do the same, for their own safety. Obey the speed limits and watch for pedestrians. Even if you’re running late, take your time and ensure that you arrive alive.
We are not invincible, and we hold the power to protect ourselves and others. Now is not the time to be reckless, but to ensure our futures, which can be smashed in an instant by a sharply swerving vehicle. Our lives are fragile, and everyone at Rider is thankful that no lives were lost on Monday. But let’s move forward with lessons learned, not just another tragedy averted.
The weekly editorials express the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
Both of this week’s editorials were written by the opinion editor, Samantha Sawh.
Printed in the 10/15/14 issue.