Pedestrian Safety on Campus

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Friday, November 16th, 2012

According to UA Media Relations, in 2011 alone the University of Alabama Police Department investigated 15 accidents involving pedestrians. Two of these accidents resulted in very serious injuries to pedestrians. Even though minimum fines for traffic offenses on UA campus are pretty high (from $146), the number of accidents involving pedestrians steadily increases. This alarming trend is nationwide spread. Consequently, The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) which became the standard of traffic safety laws in Alabama. The Code provides for rights and obligations of drivers and pedestrians. For example:

1. A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device specifically applicable to such pedestrian, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
2. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
3. Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
4. Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
5. A pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol or any drug to a degree which renders himself or herself a hazard shall not walk or be upon a highway.
6. When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

Based on these and other UVC provisions, the following safety tips have been developed for pedestrians and drivers:

Tips for Pedestrians
• Always cross at marked crosswalks;
• Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars;
• Obey any pedestrian signals and look both ways. Never run or dash into the street;
• Look before walking past stopped vehicles. Do not cross just because a driver waves you on;
• Make eye contact with drivers and watch out for traffic as you cross;
• Use sidewalks where provided. Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
Tips for Drivers
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections;
• Be alert for bicyclists and skateboarders: they approach faster than pedestrians;
• Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk;
• When you stop for a pedestrian, stop well back so that other drivers can also stop in time;
• Stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is crossing on your half of the road.

Prince, Glover and Hayes is proud to represent injured students. Give us a call today if you have been injured in a wreck on campus.

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