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Column: Election No Reason To Behave Recklessly

This story was written by Jennifer Kurland, Northern Star


On Nov. 4, after the election results were announced, excitement hit Northern Illinois University.The wave of happiness seemed to get a little out of hand, however, when a mob, including one student who climbed a lamp pole, marched through the campus.Michael Eaton, sophomore electrical engineering major, was working at Grant Towers when the election results were announced. Eaton said he saw drivers and passengers hanging out of moving vehicles.Although it is against the law to drive like that, I believe that the police were preoccupied with the hundreds of people walking, Eaton said.The amount of people marching was sizeable and could have become dangerous. By going through busy streets, the march posed a threat to pedestrians and drivers.I saw a student climbing a light pole right outside of Grant South, said Brian Keefe, freshman accounting major. The police were waiting for him at the bottom and escorted him away when he came back down, but I did not see anyone get pulled over when driving illegally.Yes, climbing a street lamp pole is dangerous and should not be tolerated. But driving a motorized vehicle with your head hanging outside the window does not just endanger your self. Car-accidents.com states that one person dies in the United States every 13 minutes in a car accident.To make sure the march was controlled and safe, the police blocked off streets from Normal to Russell [roads] and Annie Glidden to Lucinda [roads], said Lt. Darren Mitchell of the University Police. We did ask people that were hanging outside of the cars to stop, and they did comply.When it comes to hundreds of students marching through the campus screaming at the top of their lungs, the campus needed traffic control. But excitement does not excuse people from driving recklessly.MSNBC reported on Sept. 30 that 24 more people died in car accidents during voting hours on presidential election days than on any other October and November Tuesday.I think that if there were not hundreds of people walking the streets the police would have busted the illegal drivers, Eaton said.The fact of the matter is whether driving on Election Day or driving on a Monday, irresponsible driving should not be tolerated. The law doesnt have any lunch breaks and shouldnt be followed as though it did.
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