Hit-and-Runs: How do we stop them?


22477324 – illustration depicting a sign with a hit and run concept.

Ashlyn Dupree, [email protected]

Recently on Student to Student @ ULM, a Facebook page used for students to communicate with each other, Callie Dartlon, a sophomore pre-occupational therapy assistant major, shared that a girl rear ended her at ULM in a parking lot and left the scene.
Luckily, Dartlon said there was only a minor scratch but asked for the girl who hit her car to pay more attention when she is driving. Students commented that they were glad there was not as much damage as there could have been and that Dartlon was okay.
There was one witness who came forward and commented on the appearance of the vehicle, but the license’s plate number remains unknown. Many students responded to this incident by sharing similar incidents of their cars being keyed, hit or dinged by doors.
Another post on Student to Student @ ULM talked about how many students were almost hit by vehicles when walking on these cross ways.
My question is, how can hit-and-runs and students almost being hit by cars be prevented?
Video cameras are something I think is important to have across parking lots and near unlit areas to help students catch someone in a hit and run and feel safer walking to their cars at night. According to Lieutenant Jeremy Kent of the University Police Department (UPD), we already have video cameras set up around buildings that are pointed towards the parking lots, walk ways and, buildings.
But according to the several posts, are those cameras really preventing cars from being hit every other day?
Kent shared that between September 2017 and September 2018, there have been 24 hit-and-runs that are more likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays.
According to Kent, the UPD has a 100 percent success rate in finding the person who hit the person’s car and left the scene because of the video cameras. Since we already have video cameras, what should we do to end these events from happening?
Kent commented, “Put your phone down. Don’t text and drive. Slow down a little bit. Be more observant.”
I know this is hard for us, because we are so distracted in this generation, and we think we can multitask. But, that factor is contributing to the multiple hit -and- runs on campus.
For the students who are driving, we have to be careful and not play on our phones. There are students moving all over campus, and driving is not the time to play on your phones, because you are putting someone else’s life at risk.
When it is raining, snowing or when the weather is bad, slow down so you do not hurt yourself or others in a serious accident. When you are driving, you have to continually be observant and aware of your surroundings. To the students who have their car hit, dinged or keyed, go to the UPD and tell them about it.
Whether you know the model and license plate number of the car that hit you or you know the color of the car, UPD will do everything they can to help you find the person who hit your car, but you have to let them know. Also, to the students who are walking on cross walks, check both sides of the roads before you cross. If you see a vehicle moving at a very fast speed, wait until they pass before you walk out for your safety. Each person at ULM plays a part in protecting themselves and others around them by driving carefully, being observant and reporting incidents to the UPD.