Pedestrians urged to use caution around campus
With more than 40,000 students attending UW–Madison, most students walk to class or encounter large groups of pedestrians while driving through campus. Pedestrian safety is always an important issue for the university, and although snow and ice is melting, slick streets make the subject even more prevalent.
In addition, recent events around campus can serve as a reminder that pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. Both drivers and pedestrians need to follow guidelines to reduce the risk of accidents.
Pedestrians are encouraged to do the following, according to Jennifer Duncan, campus safety coordinator in the Offices of the Dean of Students:
- Keep your eyes and ears alert. Talking on your cell phone and listening to an iPod can distract you and also reduce your chance to hear oncoming traffic.
- Cross roads at intersections and crosswalks.
- Dress to be seen. Wear a bright piece of clothing at all times.
- Don’t let hats and hoods impair your peripheral vision — you should be able to see on both sides.
- Look both ways before crossing a street or intersection
- If a driver appears to not see you or slow down, stay where you are and don’t attempt to cross the street.
- Contact SAFEwalk or SAFEride whenever you are walking alone at night.
The Madison Police Department encourages drivers to abide the following rules:
- All drivers must yield to pedestrians whether crossing the street at a marked or unmarked location.
- All drivers turning on a green signal or making a right turn on red must give pedestrians the right of way.
- Remember that a crosswalk, by definition, is simply the extension of a sidewalk across a street at an intersection, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked with pained lines.
- Obey all speed limits, including 20 mph in school zones when children are present.
- Be sure all of your exterior lights are in proper working condition.
For more information, contact Duncan in the Office of the Dean of Students at (608) 263-5700 or the Madison Police Department at (608) 266-6562.