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Safety for pedestrians and cyclists on college campuses

Colleges and universities in Pennsylvania need to do more to protect students from being injured while walking and cycling on campus. Many such institutions prohibit underclassmen from bringing vehicles with them to school during the first two years of college. This means that many students get around campus and to locations off-campus on foot or bicycle, making it important for educational institutions to do more to protect their safety.

Steps universities should take to protect students

While many people might think that most pedestrian accidents involving college students on or near campus involve jaywalking, researchers at the University of Arkansas found that only 25% of the students struck by cars on its campus were located outside of crosswalks. Johns Hopkins University also found that some of the pedestrian accidents on its campus were caused by poor synchronization of the walk signals and traffic lights.

To protect students from suffering personal injuries in pedestrian accidents, universities should consider doing the following things:

  • Use highly visible markings for crosswalks
  • Restrict parking close to intersections
  • Use signs to mark crosswalk areas
  • Use stop or yield lines further from crosswalks
  • Employ crossing guards for highly trafficked areas

College students should also exercise caution when they bike or walk around and near campus. They should always cross the streets at marked crosswalks and watch for oncoming vehicles before they enter them. They should also avoid crossing streets in the midblock and make eye contact with motorists before they begin crossing the street. At night, cyclists and pedestrians should wear bright clothing to enhance their visibility to drivers. Cyclists should have headlights and taillights mounted on their bicycles and include reflectors on the sides and backs.