George Mason University’s Office of Risk Management, in an effort to promote pedestrian safety, would like to remind the students, faculty and staff to practice good pedestrian safety skills by following the noted Pedestrian Safety Guidelines. The objective of this advisory is to educate our university community in the importance of using clearly marked and designated crosswalks, while crossing the streets that traverse our campus on a daily basis.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone (this includes texting!) while crossing.
- Cross the street only at intersections and do not jaywalk.
- Use only marked crosswalks.
- Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars, as drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block.
- When crossing streets, before you enter the crosswalk, make eye contact with drivers approaching the crosswalk to ensure traffic has stopped.
- Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again before you step into the street. Be sure to evaluate the distance and speed of on-coming traffic before you step out into the street to ensure that a vehicle has adequate distance in which to stop safely.
- Remember don’t take those “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” signs for granted and always check for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- At intersections, scan over your shoulder for turning vehicles to make sure that the driver knows you are there.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night and/or carry a flashlight.
- Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lanes for higher speeding vehicles, while paying attention to the on-coming lanes of traffic.
- Always look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound or wheels turning) and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up.
- In foul weather (rain or snow) allow extra time and distance for a vehicle to stop and do not let umbrella or jacket hood block your view of approaching traffic.
- If your view of approaching traffic is blocked by something, move to where you can see, stop and look left-right-left again.
- Never run or dash into the street.
- Watch out for entrances to parking lots to include sidewalks which cross-driveways and entrances to them and always check for cars entering or exiting the parking lot.
- If the intersection has a pedestrian signal, press the button and wait for the pedestrian signal to display the “WALK” indicator, which indicates that it is safe to proceed into the crosswalk. You should continue to be alert for traffic at all times while in the roadway and always check for turning vehicles.
- A flashing “DON’T WALK” signal means that a pedestrian should not start to cross the roadway and that there is probably not enough time left in the cycle for you to cross the street safely. However, any pedestrian who has partially completed their crossing should finish crossing the street or proceed to a safety island in the same direction in which they were headed.
- A steadily illuminated “DON’T WALK” indicator means it is not safe for a pedestrian to enter the roadway in the direction of the indication and you are to wait to cross for the next “WALK” signal in order to cross safely.
- As our campus grows and changes be aware of sign rerouting pedestrian traffic and do not walk through secured construction areas.
- Be on the lookout for robots, scooters or other moving objects that may be sharing the walkways.
These safety tips were provided as a reminder to exercise caution when crossing roadways and to utilize the designated crosswalks. The Office of Risk Management wants to ensure that our university community stays safe. If you have any questions regarding pedestrian safety or other safety issues please contact The Office of Risk Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.