Since spring break ended, the most-discussed issue on California Baptist University’s campus is the newly installed speed bumps. Students said they are concerned about inconvenience and damage to their vehicles, which has caused many to drive around speed bumps or through the Yeager Parking Lot to avoid them.
There are at least 55 speed bumps located on campus, said Leon Phillips, director of Safety Services. They have been placed near cross walks, stop signs and areas with heavy traffic. The goal of the speed bumps, however, is not to inconvenience students, but to keep them safe.
Phillips said there have been numerous near and actual incidents of collisions involving cars, skateboarders and pedestrians. The speed bumps were placed as a result of campus officials’ observations of students and pedestrians being distracted near roadways and crossings. The decision was a collaboration between Safety Services, Facilities and Planning, the office of the Vice President of Student Services and the office of the President.
Many students said they are frustrated by the new impediments and are finding ways to avoid them as much as possible.
“If some drivers drove a bit more responsibly, there would be no need. Many skateboarders and pedestrians are on their phone and they aren’t paying any attention at all when they’re coming up on the roads,” Phillips said. “We understand that they’re annoying and they’re obnoxious, but we had to take some steps to get students to slow down.”
Phillips said the cost of students’ safety is more important to the university than the cost of the speed bumps. In response to those saying the university could have spent the money on other worthy causes, Phillips said the money came from the Disaster Preparedness Fund, which is reserved for matters of public safety and could not be used for other projects.
“Nothing else missed its funding or lost an opportunity because this fund is just for this kind of thing,” Phillips said.
Students such as Kyle Brancato, junior business administration major, have expressed concerns about damage to their vehicles. Brancato said the front bumper of his car was scraped by speed bumps despite him driving with caution, and he said he is also concerned about his car’s suspension. Because the current damage occurred in such a short period of time, Brancato said he worries about the long-term effects.
“I take (the speed bumps) extremely slow at an angle and it doesn’t help me increase the safety of the pedestrians. If anything it just causes more traffic and damage to my vehicle. I don’t see how it’s healthy,” Brancato said.
Brancato suggested putting in different bumps. He said the implemented speed bumps are one of the most extreme approaches he has seen.
Many students, including Brancato, wonder if the university is willing to pay for serious car damage resulting from the new speed bumps.
Austin Lentz, sophomore accounting major, said he initially thought it was funny how students responded to the speed bumps.
“It just shifts the risk,” Lentz said. “Instead of risk being in straightaways, it’s now in parking lots and is just wearing down everyone’s suspension.”
Though the speed bumps may be an inconvenience, they were installed with good intentions to keep those on campus safe. It is important to drive safely to ensure nobody gets hurt because of distractions.