|ISU, Normal police inform campus of pedestrian safety|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:38|
This week, the ISU and Normal Police Departments will hand out fliers to pedestrians stressing the importance of using caution and to follow laws regarding crosswalks.
Motorist and pedestrian violation enforcement will also be increased throughout the week.
“There was a change to the law in 2010 about motorists stopping and yielding for pedestrians at the crosswalks. We want to make sure we’re enforcing that law to increase pedestrian safety,” Aaron Woodruff, ISU chief of police, said.
Pedestrians are asked to obey traffic signals, avoid walking or running into the path of oncoming vehicles, and to cross streets at designated crosswalks. Violations of these laws can result in citations, which result in a court appearance, up to $1,000 in fines, and student disciplinary action.
Drivers are also reminded they must stop and yield to students crossing the street in designated crosswalks.
“We want to make sure [pedestrians] are crossing where they’re suppose to, for their own safety, but we are also wanting to hold motorists responsible as well,” Woodruff added.
There are target areas around the campus, Woodruff explained, that are “more sensitive” to these issues.
The intersection of College Avenue and University Street, South University Street by the Student Fitness Center overpass, and the intersection of Broadway and Beaufort streets are areas known to cause problems for pedestrians and motorists.
“We’re working with both departments to make sure that we’re addressing the areas of concern,” Woodruff said.
The main aspect of this week for the departments is to educate rather than enforce, according to Rick Bleichner, Normal police chief.
“If we still have people continuing to [ignore safety precautions] then there is going to be an enforcement part, but again, it’s not our goal.
“We don’t want to start fining people doing this. Our goal is to get compliance,” Bleichner said.
In a recent campus safety survey, more than 30 percent of respondents cited pedestrian jaywalking as a major problem at ISU. In addition, more than 25 percent believed cars not yielding to pedestrians in designated crosswalks was a major problem.
With the exception of public intoxication and theft, these pedestrian issues represent the two largest issues reported by those who completed the survey.
Bleichner explained since the Town of Normal is growing, the NPD is receiving more complaints about pedestrians not using the crosswalks, especially at the Beaufort and Broadway intersection.
“I drive that [street] every day and every day I see a combination of things. Sometimes I see people who don’t yield to people who are crossing or I see distracted people who are walking right in the street and that is extremely dangerous,” Bleichner said.
According to Bleichner, ISU’s Student Government Association had a recent resolution due to the increase of student concerns over pedestrian safety on Beaufort Street.
For more information on pedestrian safety and other safety issues, go to police.illinoisstate.edu.