Pedestrian safety top of mind as students return to campus

With the return of thousands of students to campus next week, the Brock community is reminded to drive and walk safely.

September is an exceptionally busy time on campus. After months of empty hallways and parking lots, it can be easy to forget what it’s like when a swell of pedestrians and motorists flood them.

Representatives from Brock Campus Security and Health and Safety are urging the campus community to pay attention to their surroundings and consider others around them, especially when it involves pedestrian and motorist interactions.

“One of the biggest things we see is people being distracted or not necessarily aware of their surroundings,” said Brian Dzurban, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist with Brock’s Human Resources office. “What can be even more dangerous is an interaction with a distracted pedestrian and a distracted driver.”

Dzurban suggests that pedestrians make eye contact with motorists before walking in front of a vehicle and refrain from using their cellphones at crosswalks. When walking at night, he advises wearing bright-coloured clothing.

He also encouraged pedestrians to abide by traffic signs and crosswalk signals, especially at Glenridge Avenue, where faculty, staff and students cross to get to the east side of campus.

“We often see pedestrians cross Glenridge Avenue when there’s a small gap in traffic — which is very dangerous. It only takes a few moments to use the crosswalk,” he said.

Earlier this year, several driving lanes through Brock parking lots were closed to help improve pedestrians’ safe use of crosswalks.

“We noticed a lot of motorists failing to stop at the crosswalk signs,” said Karl Thorp, Senior Platoon Supervisor with Campus Security Services. “Motorists can be easily distracted looking for parking spots and may not pay attention to crossing pedestrians. Fewer driving lanes intersecting with the crosswalk means lowered chances of a motorist colliding with a pedestrian.”

Drivers are encouraged to adhere to the posted speed signs (40 km/h or less) and to drive appropriately for weather conditions. Particular attention should be paid to the Walker Sports Complex area, where there pedestrian traffic is quite heavy. Stopping on roadways is discouraged because it can create traffic jams and reduces visibility for pedestrians and motorists travelling around stopped vehicles. Instead of stopping, drivers are asked to pull into a parking spot or use a designated drop-off and pick-up area.

Motorists are also reminded that using a cellphone while driving is against the law and approved Bluetooth hands-free devices should instead be used.

When parking, motorists should reduce their speed, be patient with other vehicles parking and be careful at the end of aisles.

For more tips on pedestrian and driver safety on campus, refer to this safety bulletin.

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