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WVU takes interim steps to increase driver and pedestrian safety awareness

WVU students

WVU students walk past digital pedestrian safety sign.

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In the wake of two more pedestrians being struck by automobiles on or near the West Virginia University campus, University Police today (March 29) added portable signs at intersections where the incidents have occurred.

Two students were struck, but suffered only minor injuries, on Wednesday, March 28, at intersections on Morrill Way and Patteson Drive. The Patteson Drive intersection was also the site of a fatal accident on Feb. 1. Later that month, a second pedestrian was struck and seriously injured crossing Monongahela Boulevard.

Immediately after the first two accidents, University officials began meeting with various city, county and state officials, including the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board, to prioritize ways in which safety at crosswalks can be increased.  

In addition, student leaders and members of the  Student Government Association hosted two Safety Walks where students and community leaders identified areas in the downtown and Evansdale communities that may need additional safety measures for pedestrians.     

University Police also expect to receive a grant in the coming weeks which will permit increased enforcement at key intersections.

“We recognize that all of these immediate actions are not permanent measures, but long-term solutions will take time to investigate and then implement appropriately,” said Rob Alsop, WVU vice president for strategic initiatives.  

In the meantime, the University has launched an educational campaign aimed at increasing driver and pedestrian safety and awareness for students, faculty and staff through campus digital signage and WVU social media.

Those safety tips include:

For drivers:

  • • Never text and drive.
  • • Don't wear earbuds while driving.
  • • Please stay alert for pedestrians at all times.
  • • Slow down during bad weather conditions.
  • • Be extra cautious at night – pedestrians can be hard to see.
  • • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • • Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
  • • Never drive under the influence.
  • • Obey all traffic lights and signals.
  • • Reduce your speed for yellow traffic lights.

For pedestrians:

  • • Cross at marked crosswalks and intersections, and obey the signals.
  • • Always yield to vehicles and bicycles.
  • • Stay to the right and avoid walking in bike lanes.
  • • When there are no sidewalks, jog or walk facing traffic.
  • • Make eye contact with oncoming drivers and show your intention to cross.
  • • Don’t forget to look up from your phone.
  • • When walking at night, wear bright colors and stay in well-lit areas.
  • • Don’t step into traffic from behind an obstruction.
  • • Turn down the volume of your phone.
  • • Head up, phone down: hang up while walking.
  • • Don’t wear headphones or talk on your phones while crossing a street.
  • • Don't walk and text!
  • • Never rely on a car to stop: expect it won't.



CONTACT: University Relations/Communications

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