It is one of the earliest lessons adults teach children: Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street. It’s a catchphrase that has been put to music, made into stickers and used in countless fliers and brochures for educational purposes for years.
As a student who has attended IPFW off and on for the past 20 years, I’m beginning to think it needs to be re-introduced to a generation of adults who seem to have a complete disregard for moving vehicles on campus. I realize that pedestrians have the right of way on places such as college campuses and that it is the responsibility of drivers to watch out for them. But this does not absolve those on foot of common sense. Last I checked a 2,000-pound vehicle, even if only moving at a modest 15 mph, will still do considerable harm if stepped in front of.
Yes, there are obvious crosswalks at intersections on campus with stop signs, and at these places it is clearly the walkers who have the right of way. These are not the trouble spots. The trouble spots are along the campus roads where there are no crossing markings and in the parking lots. Along the stretches of road where there are no pedestrian markings, I have seen many instances of brazen disregard for approaching cars. Individuals will simply step into the street when a car is perhaps a mere 10 yards away. Thirty feet. This is not a safe distance to assume a car can slow or come to a complete stop.
And parking lots have become the new sidewalk. Since when is it OK to walk through a parking lot with a line of friends spread out, blocking the flow of cars trying to make their way to empty spots? We’re all trying to get to class. Have some respect. Do what people with common sense have done for decades and move to the left or the right and allow cars to continue their course. Stop staring at your iPhone and pay attention.
Drivers and walkers both need to look out for one another, no doubt. But walkers need to remember the basics. Stop, look and listen before you cross the street. Use your eyes and use your ears and then you use your feet. Oh, and they’re called parking lots, not walking lots.