“To ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we ask that drivers continue to monitor their rate of speed and slow down at crosswalks and intersections. Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers and not assume drivers will obey the law and stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk,” said Bill McBride, GRU Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police.
Additional traffic signs will be placed on Laney Walker to remind drivers to slow down, and crossing guards will be added during critical hours — when most people are arriving and leaving work or school.
The GRU Police Department increased enforcement of traffic laws in 2008 after a student was struck at the intersection of 15th Street and Laney Walker Boulevard. Officers currently use radar on both streets, where the posted speed limit is 25 mph.
“Safety is a top priority,” McBride said. “Foot traffic on Laney Walker has only increased with the opening of the new College of Dental Medicine and will only grow when the J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons opens next fall.”
Additional pedestrian safety tips from GetStreetSmart.org:
1. Cross the street only at intersections. Do not jaywalk.
2. Use marked crosswalks where available.
3. Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars. Drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block, and you are more likely to be hit if you do this.
4. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets and continue to watch out for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk: Your life may depend on it, regardless of whether or not you have the right-of-way.
5. Remember, don’t take those “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” signs for granted. Always check for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb — motorists make mistakes too.
6. 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.
7. 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 oncoming traffic before you step out into the street to ensure that a vehicle has adequate distance in which to stop safely.
8. At intersections, scan over your shoulder for turning vehicles. Make eye contact with the driver of a stopped car while crossing in front or in back of it — making sure that the driver knows you are there. It is also important to follow these rules for cars that might be backing out of driveways.
9. Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
10. Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.
11. Always look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning), and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up.
12. Children should not cross streets by themselves or be allowed to play or walk near traffic. Kids are small, unpredictable, and cannot judge vehicle distances and speeds.
13. Always hold your child’s hand. Never allow a child under 10 to cross the street alone.