Not So Fast! Driving Safely at NYIT

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If you’ve ever had a near miss with someone doing 60 mph on the winding, narrow-laned campus roads of NYIT, you know just how dangerous speeding here could be.  But how prevalent is the problem?  And do drivers exceeding the speed limit or disobeying other traffic laws on NYIT’s campus ever get caught?  “Students are caught, but it’s not prevalent,” says Denis McGuckin, Director of Campus Security.  “It’s a once in a while type of thing, more often in the spring.”  It may look like fun to go at high speeds, but its only fun until someone gets hurt.  Speeding is especially dangerous on campus—both to the driver and the students.
To see the extent of the problem in the winter, the Campus Slate recently observed drivers passing by the bus stop at the Academic Quad for 50 minutes.  It was estimated that 22 percent of the cars, 39 out of 178, were going the speed limit.  Around 60 percentof the cars driving by, 106 out of 178, were going 10 to 15 miles above the speed limit.  The remaining 18 percentof the cars, 33 out of 178, were driving with excessive speed at 25 miles or more above the speed limit. For anyone who is unaware, the speed limit on campus is 15 mph.
Another observation that took half an hour was done near Education Hall and 55 percent (11 out of 20) of the vehicles went through the stop sign without stopping.  Clearly, there are drivers at NYIT who need to slow down.  Students will not always get away with speeding.  They can be caught for going too fast.  “The best way to reach students for Campus Security is through a seminar,” says Mr. McGuckin.  If students learn more about driving safely, there will be fewer drivers on campus that could unintentionally cause harm.  The NYIT Security Department has taken precautions to make sure speeding can be controlled and protect the student body from harm as best as possible.
To lessen the danger of speeding, NYIT Security has put 14 speed bumps and 34 stop signs on the campus roads to control the speed of drivers.  There are 6 speed bumps on west road of the campus (3 on the main, 3 on the road leading to Education Hall), 2 on the east road of the campus, 2 on the NYCOM road, 2 near Education Hall and 2 near the Student Activity Center.  There are usually 3 or 4 NYIT Security Officers patrolling around the campus to make sure things are in order on the road.  There are also police officers from the surrounding Old Brookville and Old Westbury communities –who periodically patrol the campus.  Old Brookville’s police force looks around the front end of NYIT—which is the side off Northern Boulevard— and the Old Westbury police handle the back (south) end of the campus.
Students should be aware that just because they pay tuition to attend NYIT, it does not mean they can ignore speeding or any other traffic violations.  Students should follow campus rules just like everyone else.  According to Campus Security, the penalties for speeding, parking illegally, etc., are usually $25 per violation.  However, the consequences can be severe depending on how serious the violation is. “For serious infractions a student’s name will be given to NYIT’s Dean, who will decide the disciplinary actions for the student,” says Mr. McGuckin. For first time violators of speeding, security will usually let the first violation go as long as the student understands why what they did was wrong and say they will not do it again.
Some students believe they can just choose not to pay the summons and Security will ignore it.  The tickets can get larger if they are not paid within a certain period of time.  “Some tickets have increased to 100 dollars per violation because they were not paid for a long duration of time,” says Mr. McGuckin. The tickets will still be there until they are paid or appealed and will prevent you from graduating if they are not taken care of. “Multiple tickets could result in the student getting their car towed and/or being barred from registering for classes.”
While no one wants to get a ticket, the bottom line is that students need to be careful when driving for the purpose of keeping themselves and other students safe.  Especially on the NYIT campus, “You should be in control because most of the roads are not straight,” says Mr. McGuckin, “The roads on campus are not built to handle excessive speed.”
Another tip for students on campus is to never loan their keys out for their cars.  Even if a friend is driving your car, if they violate the traffic rules on campus or cause any harm, the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible for anything that happens.  Instead, if a friend needs to get a ride somewhere, you can offer to drive your friend to where they need to go.
Campus Security is not here to act as law enforcement that gives tickets to students.  Security is doing everything they can to keep the students of NYIT safe from potential danger.  “There are officers and departments that are able to help with virtually any problem.  There’s so much help for any situation that it’s a shame not to use it,” says Mr. McGuckin.  The officers are here 24 hours a day.  If you get into an accident with another vehicle, you can call Campus Security to assist you.  If you see someone speeding, Campus Security encourages that you get the license plate number of the car and give them a call.  You may save someone’s life by giving them a call.  You can reach Campus Security at 516-686-7789.
With students driving carefully and Campus Security doing everything they can to protect the student body, students and faculty can enjoy their time on the campus and stay safe.
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