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GMC Launches "Keep Our Students Safe" Campaign with Campus Police

Georgia Military College Launches "Keep Our Students Safe" Campaign with Campus Police

One of Georgia Military College’s missions and responsibilities is to keep its students safe. Since 2013, the Elbert Street area on GMC’s campus has been a concern. Information from the Milledgeville Police Department says just last school year, there were 115 traffic citations issued, 62 verbal warnings, and 24 accidents on Elbert Street. Within the last two weeks, there have been four accidents, three of them involving GMC Prep School students, on Elbert Street adjacent to the GMC campus. With this number of accidents in a short time period, Georgia Military College has launched the “Keep Our Students Safe” campaign.

GMC’s Campus Police will dedicate time every day to monitor and ticket all those who do not comply with the posted speed limits in GMC’s School Zone on Elbert Street. Chief of Georgia Military College Police, James Hodnett, says this is a necessary action.

“The speed of which people are going up and down Elbert Street in a 35 mile per hour speed limit in a school zone, most of the people are going 40 miles per hour through there, if not more,” Hodnett said. “We’re enforcing the posted traffic laws on Elbert Street. Something has got to change in that area and for now, that means we will be monitoring that area more closely and we’ll be handing out more citations if you are speeding. We’re trying to do everything in our power to help alleviate this issue. We want to keep our kids safe.”

Between Georgia Military College and the Prep School, GMC has estimated that more than 700 students use the Elbert Street crosswalk on GMC’s campus at least 4,000 times a day. Chief Hodnett says there are three main problem areas on Elbert Street near GMC: the first is the intersection of Franklin and Elbert Streets, the crosswalk that goes from the Kidd Center to the college academic buildings on campus, and the intersection of Greene and Elbert Streets, which Hodnett says is his biggest concern.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, President of Georgia Military College, says this has been an issue since he became President in 2013.

“We identified this concern several years ago and have been working it since,” Caldwell said. “We initially began working with the Georgia Department of Transportation in 2014 to seek an agreeable method to reduce speeding traffic, and thereby traffic accidents. After much dialogue and numerous visits with the Department of Transportation, we were still unable to achieve positive action to enhance the safety of our students. Sometime in the past two years, the oversight of Elbert Street was assumed by the city of Milledgeville, and we began working with the city on a ‘road diet’ plan which would narrow the road from four lanes to two lanes and thus substantially reduce speed and make our school zone safer for our students. Unfortunately, earlier this year we learned that plan did not receive funding from the city. So now we’re looking into other options as to what we can to do with our city to address this challenge.”

The Georgia Military College Campus Police Department offers a few tips to drive safely:

• Buckle up – every trip, every time.
• Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
• Share the road. Look out for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
• Do not text and drive, nor touch your phone while driving.
• Slow down and obey all posted speed limits.

Georgia Military College is committed to doing everything to ensure traffic adheres to the posted speed limits, and thereby increase the safety of its students.