Over the past few weeks I have heard a lot of discussion about people not feeling safe while getting around campus. I’ve seen newspaper articles, I’ve been approached by university employees telling about near misses. I’ve even had to take a report on an incident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle.
With as many students as we have and as many businesses located in our area, it is truly a challenge to navigate both the foot traffic and the vehicular traffic on our campus.
However, I believe there are some things we can do to not only safeguard ourselves while walking on campus but help safeguard others while we are behind the wheel.
Safety tips while crossing intersections
Stop at the curb or edge of the road before crossing. Never run into the street.
Look for traffic to the left, then to the right and then to the left again. Listen for traffic as well. If you are wearing earphones make sure you either take one out or have the volume of your music at a level that allows you to hear sounds around you.
Cross at the street corner and walk in crosswalks. Obey the traffic signals and signs. Keep looking and listening while crossing the street. Vehicles can be ticketed if they do not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Always watch out for cars. The drivers may not see pedestrians or yield right of way.
Never go between parked cars to cross the street.
Safety tips while driving
Observe posted speed limits. Speed limits on both Rockhill and Oak are 35 mph.
Reduce driver distraction. Traffic, construction and careless drivers are distractions beyond your control. However, you can reduce the risk of an accident by decreasing the distractions inside your vehicle.
Be prepared before you start your car. If you put on makeup, eat or program your GPS before you hit the road then you’ll cut down on some distractions. If you organize what you need for your final destination before you leave, you won’t need to search while driving.
Take a break. Even with a hands-free device, the best idea is to pull over if you must make calls, answer texts or deal with issues involving other passengers.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Not only should you pay attention to the road directly in front of you, but make sure to check your rearview and side mirrors regularly. If you’re driving around campus, watch for pedestrians crossing the street.
Speak up. If you’re in a vehicle with a friend who is driving too fast, constantly switching lanes, tailgating or not paying attention to the road, tell him or her you’re uncomfortable. They may be trying to impress you, and a simple request will encourage them to stop driving dangerously.
The most important things to remember whether crossing the street or driving on or around campus is to be aware of your surroundings, keep your eyes and ears open and avoid distractions when possible. Whether a student, faculty, or staff here on campus, we all need to look out for each other.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to crime prevention or safety I can be reached at 816-235-1719 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.