VCU Police start 2023 pedestrian safety campaign: ‘We just know that we need to do more’

A new effort -- to help keep students, staff and drivers safer.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:37 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -A new traffic safety initiative is happening on the crosswalks of VCU and campus police are getting creative with ways to help protect people on the roads around the university.

”Part of the accidents that we’ve had recently kind of just sparked something in a sense that we just know that we need to do more because we are responsible, but it’s also a shared responsibility between us and the public that we serve,” said Lieutenant Edgar Greer.

He is referring to the accidents in January where one VCU student died after being hit by a driver on Main Street, and just a week later, another person was hit by a car at West Grace and Harrison.

”How many deaths are enough for you to say you have to do something? So for us, our goal is zero,” said Lt. Greer.”We want zero deaths, so until we get zero deaths, zero serious injuries in our jurisdiction, we are going to continue to look at our plan, look at the data that we see, and make the adjustment as necessary.”

Campus police decided to update their pedestrian safety initiative, which now includes a referee on the streets.

“Referee initiative going on when our referee stands at certain intersections,” said Lt. Greer. “It’s almost like you’ll see in a basketball game or something like that. They’ll throw the flag when people are doing things against what we deem to be safe.”

He says the idea is to be interactive with people walking, so they can spread awareness and education on why it’s important to follow the rules of the road.

VCU Student Czar Lazenby says this initiative is needed.

“Drivers can be quite reckless, and students can also be reckless with walking across the street. I think it would help a lot of people considering how far people have walked from their dorms.”

On top of calling fouls, campus police say they plan to host more outreach events throughout the semester, including one coming up on Valentine’s Day in the Student Commons.