Late last school year, Auxiliary Services added neon green signs to the three-way stop at the top of the hill between the Auxiliary Services building, the Medical School parking lot and the parking lot behind the first-year dorms. Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins said there was real danger and they knew a change had to happen.
"A lot of people were running that stop sign," Collins said. "If we didn't do something, somebody was going to get hurt, and there would be a wreck."
Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Ken Boyer said that the notices were added after too many close calls at that intersection.
"Speeding and ignoring the stop signs on campus, particularly in this area, have been a real issue over the years," Boyer said in an email.
With MERPO's limited resources, an alternative deterrent was necessary to ensure drivers were obeying the traffic laws and safety rules.
"We can't assign an officer to be there permanently," Collins said. "So let's test this. It has helped some and any help is greatly appreciated."
Since MERPO is unable to have an officer monitor all the intersections around campus, this alternative was raised, using the in-place cameras around campus to monitor the area and keep Mercer's pedestrians safe, Boyer said.
"Safety is a complex issue, but sometimes complex issues warrant simple solutions. Our cameras were already positioned to capture images of speeding vehicles around campus. So why not use them to help leverage a solution for this particular problem?" Boyer said in an email. "The cameras are one of many tools in the toolbox. When needed, video footage is available to campus police to issue tickets or warnings to drivers to remind them to slow down and obey traffic regulations."
Boyer and Collins are optimistic about the success of their new deterrent. Boyer said that the biggest thing was the added pressure on drivers that reminds them they are being watched and have a responsibility to uphold the law in order to keep people safe. When drivers follow the rules and pay better attention, the best part, Boyer said, is that there are no penalties necessary.
Henry Keating '24 is a Journalism and History student at Mercer. He has worked at The Cluster as SGA correspondent, State and Local News Editor, Managing Editor and now as the Editor-in-Chief. Henry has held internships at the Macon Newsroom, Macon Telegraph, and Greenville Post and Courier. He enjoys backpacking, rom-coms, pottery and photography.