College enforces pedestrian safety - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

College enforces pedestrian safety

August 23, 2005

Valdosta - Getting across Patterson Street during peek traffic hours can be quiet a challenge. "You really have to duck, dodge, and kind of dart in and out of traffic," said Tyneisha Siders, VSU Student.

That's exactly what campus police are trying to stop. "The problem is the pedestrians aren't crossing in the crosswalks," said Russell Severns, VSU Police Officer.

Instead, they're darting out into the road whenever they see a chance, stopping in the turning lane, then bolting out again between moving cars. So the college has started a new safety campaign to cut down on jaywalking and steer students to crosswalks.

Officers are posted at areas along main campus where students often cross illegally, to teach students about pedestrian safety. "We want to do this at the beginning of every semester so we can catch people when they're first getting started down here and they can develop that as a habit," said Severns.

Police are giving warnings and handing out literature, but starting next week, if you're caught jaywalking, you'll get a ticket. "We'll be going ahead and citing people to encourage them to comply with the law after this initiative is over," said Severns.

Most of the students police have caught jaywalking give the same response. "They say I'm late for class, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be," said Severns.

And since parking near the college can be difficult, officers say you should give yourself plenty of time to get to class. "It's better to get to class early and safe than for us to be out here working a pedestrian involved wreck," said Severns.

A wreck they're working hard to prevent.

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