Seven pedestrians hit in past year

Jennifer Curington

Seven accidents have occurred between drivers and pedestrians or bicyclists since last January, the latest of which happened the first week of this semester.

“You can be in the right-of-way and still be in a wreck. I mean, you’re still in a wreck so it’s a little better to drive defensively and walk defensively,” Chief Mike Russell, director of the Office of Public Safety, said. “Now we may have a lot of near misses, but we don’t have a lot of vehicle versus pedestrian [accidents].”

Three of the seven most recent accidents resulted in at least one of the people involved being transported from the scene by medical services, according to police reports.

“Most of our injuries in these accidents are minor, thank goodness,” Russell said.

Nothing more serious than bruises and scrapes were indicated in any of the seven police reports obtained.

Russell believes the real problem is awareness amongst both drivers and pedestrians about the rules of the road.

“We get a lot of pedestrians that will just step out in the road in front of you and although they do have the right-of-way in the crosswalk, that’s kind of scary when they do that,” Russell said.

Russell also suggests that pedestrians who prefer to listen to music on their route should leave one ear bud out so they can hear the traffic around them.

Bicyclists are supposed to use the roads and follow the same rules that drivers do instead of “screaming” down the sidewalks, Russell said.

Russell said drivers trying to make it to class can sometimes be more concerned with getting to their destination than looking out for pedestrians or bikers and that can lower awareness.