GRU police amping up patrols near busy crosswalks

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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Walking to and from class for GRU students often feels like a game of Frogger, darting left and right, just trying to make it through the crosswalks alive.

Caleb Penn is a 2nd year medical student at GRU, and he says, "Sometimes, cars will be really slow to stop, and it makes you wonder if you're going to get hit by a car."

Jordan Paynter is also a 2nd year student, and he says, "Some people fly through here."

The stretch of Laney Walker Blvd. between R.A. Dent and 15th street on the medical school campus is a big problem area. There are four crosswalks on that busy stretch of road.

Chief William McBride, the Chief of Police at GRU says, "We've had a lot of near misses, and we've actually had some people hit out there."

Chief McBride says they've had to bump up patrols lately, because a lot of drivers don't seem to pay attention to the crosswalks.

"People are ignoring them, even though they're painted and we have little signs on the crosswalks," he says.

Wednesday, the campus police department sent out a Facebook alert reminding students to be careful, and warning them that patrols are increasing.

Chief McBride says, "Pedestrians, when they see white paint on the ground, they know they have the right of way, so they don't bother to look. They step out there assuming everyone's going to stop."

Georgia DOT is working on a plan to help traffic flow in that area, and make the roads safer, but until that happens, police say to take extra precautions.

McBride says, "They really need to pay attention when they're in these crosswalks, and don't assume that these drivers are going to stop."

The bottom line for drivers, police say, pay attention and stop at crosswalks, or expect a ticket.