Augustana Launches Pedestrian Safety Initiative
In an effort to promote pedestrian safety, the Augustana University Department of Campus Safety is launching Operation S.A.F.E. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) Crossing.
"The objective of this initiative is to educate our university community in the importance of using clearly marked and designated crosswalks, while crossing the streets that traverse our campus on a daily basis," said Rick Tupper, director of Campus Safety.
Operation S.A.F.E. Crossing will offer the following pedestrian safety tips via posters around campus and will feature forums on pedestrian safety with Campus Safety throughout the year:
- Cross the street only at intersections and do not jaywalk.
- Use only marked crosswalks.
- Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars, as drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block.
- When crossing streets, before you enter the crosswalk, make eye contact with drivers approaching the crosswalk to ensure traffic has stopped.
- Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again before you step into the street. Be sure to evaluate the distance and speed of on-coming traffic before you step out into the street to ensure that a vehicle has adequate distance in which to stop safely.
- Don’t take “No Right Turn on Red” signs for granted and always check for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- At intersections, scan over your shoulder for turning vehicles to make sure that the driver knows you are there.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night and/or carry a flashlight.
- Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lanes for higher speeding vehicles, while paying attention to the on-coming lanes of traffic.
- Always look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of wheels turning) and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up.
- In foul weather (rain or snow), allow extra time and distance for a vehicle to stop and do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.
- If your view of approaching traffic is blocked, move to where you can see, stop and look left, right, and left again.
- Never run or dash into the street.
- If the intersection has a pedestrian signal, press the button and wait for the pedestrian signal to display the “Walk” indicator, which indicates that it is safe to proceed into the crosswalk. You should continue to be alert for traffic at all times while in the roadway and always check for turning vehicles.
- A flashing “Don't Walk” signal means that a pedestrian should not start to cross the roadway and that there is probably not enough time left in the cycle for you to cross the street safely. However, any pedestrian who has partially completed their crossing should finish crossing the street.
- Watch out for entrances to parking lots to include sidewalks which cross driveways and entrances to them and always check for cars entering or exiting the parking lot.
- A steady illuminated “Don't Walk” indicator means it is not safe for a pedestrian to enter the roadway in the direction of the indication and you are to wait to cross for the next “Walk” signal in order to cross safely.
- Always keep in mind the driver of an approaching vehicle may not see you due to the position of the sun or being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle. While it may be their fault if they hit you, you are still the one who is injured. Stay alert and don’t assume the driver sees you.
"These safety tips are provided as a reminder to exercise caution when crossing roadways and to utilize the designated crosswalks. The Department of Campus Safety wants to ensure that our university community stays safe. If you have any questions regarding pedestrian safety or other safety issues please contact the Department of Campus Safety at 605.274.4014," Tupper said.