Kira Burton | Staff Writer | [email protected]
UtahValleyUniversity is a largely commuter based school, with most students driving from other cities in order to attend classes every day. Because of this, there is a lot of traffic around campus. Once students arrive at school they have to find somewhere to park and then walk to class, and usually that walk includes crossing busy streets and intersections. The school has provided pedestrian crosswalks with flashing lights that can be activated to signal drivers that someone is crossing the street.
“The chief of police John Brewer brought up that he wanted to have a public safety campaign to alert students to use the crosswalks, but specifically the lights,” said Robin Ebmeyer, director of Emergency Risk Management. “I have been watching and some use it, some don’t. It is for their safety and I know as a driver on campus every day, I notice the flashing lights. At night it is a much bigger deal, when people are sometimes hard to see.”
Although there is no guarantee that activating these lights will keep people safe while crossing the road, they are there to help alert motorists of the presence of pedestrians.
Auto pedestrian accidents aren’t a prevalent problem at UVU, according to Detective Kelly Liddiard of the UVU Police Department, but there have been a few severe auto pedestrian accidents around campus.
These accidents could be avoided if people would take the time to pay attention. One of the biggest contributing factors to distracted pedestrians is technology. It’s easy to get caught up in a conversation or music and forget that there is anyone else around.
Activating the lights on the crosswalk doesn’t take away a pedestrian’s responsibility of looking both ways, and paying attention to the road while they are crossing, but pedestrian safety goes both ways. Motorists need to be aware of crosswalks and be ready to slow down and stop for pedestrians. Crossing the street safely is something that is fairly simple, but is often over looked especially when students are in a hurry.