MSU campus police and MHP get together to deal with game day traffic

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – On gameday weekends Starkville’s population doubles and so does the traffic.. as thousands of fans come in from across the country.
When the Bulldogs take the field at Davis Wade Stadium, there are tens of thousands of fans there to cheer them on.

And most of them are coming in by car. That means a sudden boom in traffic. Some drivers are unprepared, but Mississippi State’s Police Department has it covered.

MSU Police Chief Vance Rice says he and his crew try their best to get all drivers on and off campus – quickly – and – safely.

“We didn’t develop this plan overnight and it doesn’t change game to game. This plan has been in place for multiple years and the only things that change is if streets change,” said Chief Rice.

During game weekends it is rare to see a wreck, but traffic congestion happens frequently and that’s why Rice suggests that fans listen to them and not their cellphones.

“We have traffic routes optimized to where we can get the most number of cars off campus and to their destination as quickly as possible. One of our biggest challenges is that people are following their GPS and not following what their officers are telling them so we encourage people to leave their GPS unit turned off until they get well off campus,” said Chief Rice.

And whether you are driving or walking to or from the event you should always look both ways before you cross the street.

“Drive safe and watch for pedestrians. pedestrians especially on game days are everywhere. It’s so easy to look away and have somebody step out”

Campus Police also have a backup from city and county agencies and the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Public Affairs Officer Sergeant Derrick Beckom says more cars can lead to more accidents and that’s why they work beside campus Police to make sure people are doing what they are supposed to.

“We patrol the highways and have a strong presence and letting them know that we expect that to obey the laws, slow down and pay attention, wear their seat belts no speeding, and all of the normal things we look for and we just kind of amp it up a little more on game day,” said Beckom.

And Beckom says if drivers will play by the rules. His team can enjoy a home win.

“We know everyone is excited about the weekend so we just want them to have fun and be safe,” said Beckom.

The Bulldogs will kick off at 11 am tomorrow.

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