By Haroldsid Jutajero
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Today, safety officials in Camden County College are educating students to stop driving drowsy and using their cell phones while driving.
Patrolling the campus area, Lt. Mary Bohnert, 52, of Clementon, observes students driving and getting to class on time. “I’ve seen students on Wilson Road using their mobile phones while driving but we can’t make arrests or ticket students for driving drowsy and prohibit them from using their cell phones while driving. It’s not within our jurisdiction to do so. We can only educate students on smoking violations and from abusing handicap tags from the handicap zones,” she said.
Throughout the day, students drive while using their cell phones. A lack of sleep could be a cause when students can’t function properly behind the wheel. When these activities take place, dangerous risks are involved. Additionally, it’s dangerous when students on campus are driving while texting or sending email. Drivers engaging in any cell phone use are a safety issue and a threat to themselves and everyone around them.
Safety officials in CCC educate students on prohibiting them from cell phone use while driving by spreading the word out using the campus press, brochures, pamphlets and the college website so that car accidents don’t occur on campus and that students are paying attention behind the wheel not only on campus but everywhere else. These education efforts are being enforced because students from CCC still engage in cell phone use while driving and safety officials can’t be responsible for every student especially when they’re busy directing traffic.
Steve Hetherington, assistant director of public safety, 58, of Cherry Hill, says, “I see students using their mobile phones on all the roads on campus. We don’t cite students with tickets, we only observe and report. Since we can’t stop students from using their mobile phones while driving, we record their tag number and report it to the dean of students. If they’re caught speeding, we record their driver’s license as well.”
Legislators are passing a law that prohibits all motorists including students from engaging in cell phone activity while behind the wheel. It’s going to be enforced once it takes effect. So far 39 states and the District of Columbia made it a key traffic safety measure. The American Automobile Association expects all 11 remaining states to take this concept into consideration as well.