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Traffic Safety On Campus

With so many moving parts and people, understanding the university's traffic and vehicular policies is essential to campus safety. Be informed of requirements, obey laws, and help every campus community member stay as safe as possible.

All should anticipate multi-modal traffic on our campus roads and sidewalks. Bikes may use the full lane of traffic. Motorists must give three feet of passing distance between their vehicle and the cyclist. Look out for your fellow Buckeyes and use the crosswalk. Pedestrians should wait for the traffic signal to cross. If you’re cycling or scooting, park in designated areas to ensure accessible pathways. Never block sidewalks, curb ramps, or disability access. Pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders should dress to be seen and use lights and reflective clothing/gear at night. Keep your eyes up and your earbuds out to eliminate distractions.




Your safety is SUNO’s No. 1 priority, and pedestrian and traffic safety is an area of particular concern on a campus where people and vehicles share some of the same spaces. Please take a few minutes to read the questions and answers below and learn what you can do to make SUNO a safer place to live, learn, and work. If you have more questions or want to comment or make a suggestion, call (504) 286-5291.

What to do if you are in an accident on campus?

  • Stay calm – If you can do so, call 911 to report the location of the accident. The 911 operator may ask for information such as your name, if anyone has been injured and what type of vehicles are involved.
  • Check yourself for injuries – If you’re injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. Try not to move and wait for emergency personnel.
  • Check on your passengers – If you’re not too hurt to move, check on the other passengers in your car or other vehicles. If anyone is injured, Contact SUNOPD or call 911.
  • Move to safety – If you can, move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. If your car is safe to drive and is causing a hazard where it is, pull it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.
  • Wait for help – Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights. Wait for SUNOPD to arrive. A police officer will give you instructions on what you should do after the accident.
  • Never leave the scene of an accident – If through an investigation it is found that you left the scene of an accident, you may be issued a traffic citation with a mandatory court date. If injury or death occurs, felony charges may be brought against you.
  • If you hit an unattended vehicle – Make sure that you immediately stop and try to locate and notify the operator or owner of that vehicle. If you can’t locate the operator of the vehicle, leave your name and contact information on the vehicle where the driver will see it. Contact SUNOPD if you have doubts about what to do.

What can I do to improve traffic and pedestrian safety?

You already know the answers to that question.

  • When you are driving, slow down.
  • Watch for pedestrians who might step in front of your vehicle.
  • Don’t text or e-mail while you are driving.
  • When you are walking or riding a bicycle or skateboard, look both ways before you cross the street.
  • Don’t assume drivers see you or will stop.
  • Be aware of what is happening around you, so be careful if you are texting or listening to music while you are walking. You may not see or hear a vehicle or the bicyclist who is about to pass you.

What is the speed limit on campus?

The speed limit on campus streets is 15 mph unless they are otherwise marked. If you don’t see a speed limit sign or are unsure, assume the speed limit is 15 mph. Because of the pedestrian and bicycle traffic on campus, it is not safe to drive faster than the speed limit.

Who has the right of way at crosswalks?

Louisiana law says vehicles must yield to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk on their side of the road or if the pedestrian approaching from the other side is close enough to be in danger. Pedestrians should look both ways before stepping into a crosswalk to be sure drivers see them and are going to stop.

If the pedestrian is in the crosswalk, stop. Vehicles have the right of way when there’s a Don’t Walk signal for pedestrians, but drivers should be alert for people who cross anyway.

If no vehicles are coming, is it OK to cross even if the signal says Don't Walk?

No. It’s against the law to start crossing the street if the Don’t Walk sign is on. Even if no cars are in sight, it’s very dangerous. Drivers may turn from side streets or come speeding around a curve and assume the road is clear because the light is green.

Who has the right of way if a pedestrian crosses where there is no crosswalk?

Whenever special pedestrian control signals exhibiting the words or symbols for “WALK” or “WAIT-DON’T WALK” are in place, signals shall indicate as follows: 

“WALK” indicates that a pedestrian facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by the drivers of all vehicles; and 

“WAIT-DON’T WALK” indicates that no pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the walk signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the wait signal is showing. 

When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be stop to yield to a pedestrian.

Is it illegal to text while driving on campus?


It is unlawful for a person to use a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State.

Are passengers in vehicles required to wear seat belts?


Louisiana law requires occupants of a vehicle to wear seat belts. There are very few exceptions, such as having written verification from a doctor that there is a physical reason for not wearing a seat belt.

Is there a limit to the number of passengers in a vehicle?

It’s illegal to drive a vehicle with more than three people in the front seat or to “obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.” It is unsafe to have more passengers than a vehicle is designed to carry. Passengers also are required to wear seat belts.

What are the rules about riding bicycles on campus?

  • Bicyclists must observe the same laws as other vehicles, including obeying traffic lights and signs.
  • Bicyclists should use hand signals when turning and stopping. Hand signals can be as simple as pointing for 5 seconds in the intended direction of travel.
  • Bicycles may not be ridden on sidewalks.