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Notre Dame Police Department unrolls ‘Eyes Up Irish’ campaign to promote on-campus safety

| Monday, November 15, 2021

Notre Dame’s campus is constantly filled with busy students, walking, biking, scootering or driving to get to their next destination. There is understandably a rush to get to their next activity, however, many people are now forgetting to get there safely. The Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) noticed this and decided it was time to take initiative by creating the “Eyes Up Irish” campaign. 

This campaign aims to ensure that students are paying attention to their surroundings as they roam the campus. NDPD captain of crime prevention and outreach Rob Martinez noted that NDPD wants students to remain safe. 

“We want to make sure that everybody is safe on campus while they’re here,” Martinez said.

As of right now, this is an educational campaign. However, this does not mean that this campaign can not escalate to the level of issuing citations. It is considered to be a possibility in the future, but there are roadblocks, Martinez said.

“Because in the state of Indiana, there’s no law that is geared towards the enforcement of scooter laws,” Martinez said. “They’re not treated like a motor vehicle. They’re not treated like a car. So there’s the regulation is an issue that maybe we’d have to look in house for.”

Student Jasmine Garcia does not use a scooter, skateboard or bike. She made it clear that she has noticed this safety problem on campus and is glad to see that a solution is being implemented.

“I think that the campaign is beneficial for a lot of reasons,” Garcia said. “And I think it has a good purpose and the sense of like, even when I’m walking sometimes, it’s like, you don’t really know where to go when scooters coming like you want to move out of the way but you don’t because they’re coming so fast.”

As for ticketing offenders, Garcia considered when it would be appropriate.

“I feel that you would have to wait for the injury level or the actions to increase, I think that right now we’re at a point where I don’t see a need for ticketing, but it were to get to an extreme level, maybe,” Garcia said.

First-year Blake Wesley uses the speed of his scooter to get him to the places he needs to go. However, he also thinks students should slow down when traveling on campus.

“I believe [Notre Dame] should have a class like tell us to slow down,” Wesley said. 

Wesley noted that students should receive consequences for breaking safety rules when they travel on campus.

“[The first offense should] be like a warning. And then the next time you do it, you should like be suspended from your scooter for like a week,” Wesley said. 

Notre Dame students will be able to support this campaign in a myriad of ways. There will be merchandise at NDPD outreach stands, including stickers, clips and magnets. The symbol will soon be seen across the school in a variety of ways, including on the screens in Duncan Student Center.

Martinez hopes students will “tak[e] a couple extra seconds to think about what I need to slow my speed down.”

Martinez also believes it is important for students to stay aware of their surroundings and to ensure that they are not doing anything to endanger themselves or others. 

“Whether you’re driving, riding or strolling on campus, keep your eyes up.”

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