November 7, 2018
A Message to Students from Salvador B. Mena, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Rutgers University—New Brunswick:
Dear Scarlet Knights,
Your safety and security are of paramount importance to the university and a shared responsibility. In the past few weeks we’ve had a number accidents involving pedestrians on-campus. In an effort to reduce the number of collisions, we’re writing to remind you to practice good pedestrian and driver safety skills by following the tips below.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don’t assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Be careful at crossings: look before you step
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Safety tips for drivers
Be alert: watch for pedestrians at all times
- Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians.
- Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing.
- Don’t drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
- Do not use your cell phone while driving.
- Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up.
- For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.
Be responsible: yield to pedestrians at crossings
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
- Yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections.
- Do not block or park in crosswalks.
Be patient: drive the speed limit and avoid aggressive maneuvers
- Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians
- Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs
- Use extra caution when driving near pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
- Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians.
Additionally, the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) and the Division of Student Affairs, through the Knights’ Watch Program, will be promoting a Walk Smart Campaign to educate our university community on the importance of pedestrians being aware of their surroundings and using the designated crosswalks, and urging motorists to increase awareness of pedestrian and bike traffic and follow the laws.
Together, we can prevent a traffic related injury or tragedy from happening on our campus. We hope that you will support this campaign and get involved to raise awareness.
Dr. Salvador Mena
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Chief of Police
Rutgers University Police Department
Graduate Student Association
Rutgers University Student Assembly