LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky's enrollment has increased, so has vehicular and pedestrian traffic, resulting in the need for heightened awareness on campus. In response, the UK Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) wants to share some important safety tips on how to best navigate campus. EHS has created a new "Wildcats Walk Safely" campaign and a pedestrian safety tips flyer.
"UK's top priority is the safety and security of our university community. This effort, focusing on pedestrians, is another component of our multi-faceted approach to our community's well-being," said Eric Monday, UK executive vice president for finance and administration. "It builds on the millions the university has invested in technology and infrastructure for campus safety.”
UK has a very busy campus that is filled with pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and vehicles at all times. As a pedestrian it is important to be attentive when walking around campus, especially in areas where interaction with vehicles can occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,being struck by a vehicle going 30 miles per hour is fatal approximately 40 percent of the time.
"Distracted walking and driving is a problem," said Lee Poore, director of UK Occupational Health and Safety. "Not texting while you're walking across a cross walk is very important. We cannot stress enough the dangers of distracted walking. Just stop in a safe place for the few seconds it takes to text or read a message."
With a lot of construction happening on campus, it is important for students and faculty to report to EHS any unsafe conditions they notice on streets or sidewalks. Poore encourages the campus community to visit the EHS website, which contains information on how to report unsafe conditions or accidents.
Some important tips for pedestrians trying to cope with traffic can be found on the UK EHS website. Tips to stay safe are:
· Cross streets between the lines within a crosswalk, and with the signal (if applicable). Your full attention should be directed to oncoming traffic.
· Traffic flow and/or congestion may prevent a driver from seeing you and having the time to stop. Do not assume the driver can see you, or stop in time for you.
· If you cross the street at a place other than within a designated crosswalk or intersection, remember that the vehicle has the right‐of‐way. It is your responsibility to yield to the vehicle.
· Parking lots are for vehicles, and are not intended as short‐cuts to walk between buildings. If you must walk through a parking lot, to retrieve a vehicle or any other reason, please be aware that vehicles can enter, back‐up, or pull forward at any time. Stay vigilant.
· Use good judgment. Having the right‐of‐way will not prevent injury if you are hit by a vehicle.
"Pedestrian safety is a high priority to Environmental Health and Safety. We work with UKPD and Parking and Transportation on these issues and they do a good job of providing safety and being attentive to making corrections to campus for student and faculty safety," Poore said.
For more information about the Wildcats Walk Safely program, visit http://ehs.uky.edu/.