Pedestrian safety a concern on the Heights
Show of hands: who here has ever been hit by a car before? If you’re like me and raised your hands (and are now being stared at for raising your hand while reading the newspaper), then you know it is not a pleasant experience. I was clipped on the arm by a passing van once and it almost broke my arm; I couldn’t feel my hand for the remainder of the day.
Ever since coming to Le Moyne, I have just escaped being hit a total of eight times, all while using the crosswalks around campus. Seven of these incidents have occurred near parking lots on campus and all of them have transpired because careless drivers did not stop for the crosswalk. Had I been a second off in any of these situations I would have been spending a lot of time in the hospital.
Now, according to New York State law, if there is a pedestrian about to cross or already crossing the crosswalk, then the driver must yield. In my hometown, if one fails to stop, they must pay upwards of $500 and have to go to court over their careless driving. There are crosswalks every block and tourists don’t ever follow the guide lights.
It gets ridiculous around here sometimes. A group of my friends and I once had to wait for nine cars to pass — going in both directions — before we could cross. At one point, I threw up my hands in frustration and received a horn and middle finger from the driver of a passing SUV.
Only six times in the past month have cars stopped for me (excluding the times when there have been no cars or no time to stop). Considering I use the same path at least six times a day, that’s a lot of dangerous driving.
Unfortunately, most of the people that I’ve seen breaking the law have been Le Moyne-affiliated. I’m not pointing fingers since I don’t know how much traffic around campus is non-collegiate, or how many of the people who did stop were students and teachers. However, Le Moyne students should be the ones most aware of other students and the location of the crosswalks.
Think for a moment: would you want one of your friends to be hit while using the crosswalk (or hit someone)? If you said ‘yes,’ then you might want to rethink your concept of friendship. How would you like it to happen to you?
I’m not trying to scold people, or place blame. I just want to remind everyone that the crosswalks are dangerous places, and that people don’t drive safely. Pedestrians have to use crosswalks, and drivers have to stop for them. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a car’s bumper, and I’m sure no one wants to be on the giving end either.