Campus Life

Driver, pedestrian safety reminder for campus communities

Credit: Pat Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The start of the fall semester brings an increase in foot and vehicle traffic to Penn State campuses, which is why University Police and Public Safety reminds pedestrians and drivers to be mindful of each other on the roadway.

“University Police and Public Safety encourages pedestrians and motorists to be more aware of each other, have more patience with each other, and travel with care,” said Joseph Milek, University chief of police operations. “Let’s work together to help everyone arrive at their destinations.”

Drivers and pedestrians are encouraged to review the following safety tips developed, in part, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As a reminder, anyone who witnesses an incident involving a vehicle and pedestrian should call 911 immediately.

Tips for pedestrians

Head up, phone down. Pedestrians should always put away phones and other digital devices while walking to a destination. This helps pedestrians focus on arriving safely by looking out for vehicles, bicyclists and others who may cross your path.

Remove headphones and earbuds. Pedestrians should be alert at all times. In order to travel safely to a destination, a pedestrian must use all five senses to avoid danger. Wearing head phones can prevent a pedestrian from hearing an approaching vehicle, emergency sirens or a vehicle horn.

Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signs and signals.

Always cross at crosswalks. Look for vehicles in all directions. Do not cross in front of moving vehicles and assume they will stop. Wait for the vehicle to stop before entering the roadway.

Use sidewalks. Walk on sidewalks whenever available. If a pedestrian happens to be in a location where a sidewalk is unavailable and must take that route, the pedestrian should walk facing traffic.

Tips for drivers

Always look out for pedestrians. Motorists should look out for pedestrians at all times and be prepared to yield to foot traffic.

Yield at crosswalks. Drivers should yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and stop well before the crosswalk. Pedestrians have the right of way and may not always clearly indicate their intent to cross.

Just drive. It is illegal for anyone operating a vehicle (or bike) to wear headphones or earbuds. Never text or engage in other activities that take your eyes off of the road.

Never pass. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.

Follow the speed limit. Motorists should monitor speeds, especially in areas known for pedestrian traffic.

Be alert when backing up. Drivers should be extra cautious when backing up and look out for pedestrians who may move into the vehicle’s path.

Use caution at night. Motorists should use extra caution when driving at night or during poor weather conditions.

Last Updated August 06, 2020