|Take precautions in streets|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:44|
As the holiday season approaches, we are all rushing around to buy the perfect gifts, to get things done before the holidays begin or to get out of the cold. But it’s important to remember to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings, especially when your safety is at risk.
With winter comes cold temperatures, slippery roads and inclement weather. Since we live in a college town, there are always many people out on the roads and walking around the area. Just because we are preoccupied with holiday spirit doesn’t mean we should forget basic traveling precautions.
As it gets colder, many of us who are walking and using crosswalks are likely to cross when it is not safe in order to get to our destination quickly and get into a warm area. Crossing the street always has the potential of being dangerous, but doing so when the “do not walk” light is lit up, there is the risk of getting hit.
Drivers are responsible for the safety of themselves, their passengers and pedestrians. Every day, you can witness numerous instances on campus where pedestrians jaywalk or cross in front of oncoming cars or drivers not yielding to pedestrians when they have the right of way. Being more aware of these situations can ensure the safety of everyone involved.
One of the most common mistakes that is made between drivers and pedestrians is when there is a green light, which gives pedestrians crossing the same direction as traffic the right of way.
Unfortunately, the green light also gives cars turning the option to do so after they yield to oncoming traffic. Drivers who are not paying attention often turn in front of pedestrians who are crossing.
This is a serious and common issue in our area. Intersections such as the corner of Fell and College and the corner of Fell and Mulberry are very dangerous, because many students almost get hit by turning cars when it is supposed to be safe for them to cross.
Other types of dangerous intersections for both drivers and pedestrians are the four-way stops that are common on and around campus. These intersections require the full attention of those walking and behind the wheel. The order of who gets to cross the intersection is ideally given based on the order in which people arrive. However, this is sometimes ignored and can lead to multiple cars going at once or people crossing in front of oncoming traffic.
Those who ride bicycles are supposed to follow the same rules as drivers, ride on the street and yield at these intersections just as a car would. Buses, which run on a tight schedule, sometimes go before they make a complete stop or as people are halfway through the crosswalk. Being aware of who is at the intersection will help you cross safely.
Because there are so many dangerous traffic intersections on campus, it is important that we follow traffic laws and utilize caution at all times.
Pedestrians: Do not cross unless it is safe and your time to do so.
Drivers: Make sure to yield to pedestrians who have the right of way when you’re turning, and wait your turn at four-way stops.
Our community is only as safe as we make it. We can all do our part to ensure that, as pedestrians and drivers, by following traffic laws so everybody gets to their destination safely.