From Kindergarden to College…

With the addition of the gates this year, we all might feel a little safer during the day as pedestrians knowing that there are less vehicles on the road.  This “safe” feeling may translate into walking where we shouldn’t, crossing the street where we aren’t supposed to, or just plain not paying enough attention.  None of us want to go though what happened in November again, and by taking a few simple steps, we will all be better off.
The JMU police department sent an email out to everyone today and we think it has some great information that you really should pay attention to:
The average driver takes 2 seconds to see a pedestrian and decide to brake.  At 25mph, a car covers about 55 ft. in those 2 seconds .
Sooooo…. A car going…
  •  25 mph takes about 85 ft. to stop.
  •  30 mph takes about 109 stop
  • 35 mph takes about 136 ft. to stop
If it’s raining or icy, it takes even more space for a car stop.
If it’s dark, it may take longer for a driver to see you.
· Don’t assume vehicles will stop
· Never cross between parked cars
· Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking at night
· Use crosswalks whenever possible
· Obey WALK/DON’T WALK signs
· Look left, right and left again before crossing
· Watch for turning vehicles
 · Make sure drivers see you and stop before stepping into the roadway
· Look across ALL lanes of traffic and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops does not guarantee the other drivers see you and will stop for you.
· Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see the cars traveling closest to you.
· Stay sober. Walking while impaired greatly increases your chances of being struck
· You need to hear sirens, car horns, squealing brakes, accelerating cars, a warning from bystanders… so… DON’T WEAR HEADPHONES!
· Avoid talking on your cell phone
An Important VA Pedestrian Law
 46.2-928 Pedestrians not to use roadway except when necessary; keeping to left.
Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface or main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.
 This one is especially important around campus since there are areas that do not have sidewalks (i.e. by the construction of the hospital).  Drivers are not necessarily looking out for you in these areas.  Be a conscious pedestrian and know your surrondings.
This also goes both ways.  If you are driving around campus, be aware of your surroundings.  Know that people are not always paying attention when they should, as as the person in the car, YOU are the one that will do the most damage.

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