San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Pedestrians deserve to be a safety priority

Pedestrian safety column
Pedestrian safety column

The chaotic lanes and busy intersections along North Comanche Street make walking to class like an intense game of Frogger. If Texas State implemented pedestrian safety education into its social media and improved its traffic signs, students would be more aware of pedestrian safety.
Texas State could upload infographics on Instagram to help students understand their rights as a pedestrian and better understand road rules.
Texas Transportation Code Section 552.003 states, “When traffic signal is not in place, vehicles must yield to pedestrian in crosswalk on vehicle’s half of road or close to it.”
This law gives pedestrians the right of way, but the crowding of a car-heavy campus makes it extremely difficult to navigate. In addition, the university sold over 19,000 parking permits this year, significantly more than in 2021. Texas is one of the five states accounting for 43% of pedestrian deaths.
Highlighting tips from safety organizations can help expose students to beneficial information. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contains tips for pedestrians, including recommending individuals walk facing traffic if a sidewalk is not present. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises pedestrians to wear reflective clothing at night or carry flashlights to become more visible to passing vehicles.
On social media, Texas State could demonstrate these tips on TikTok or Instagram reels and stories. Knowing helpful walking tips could help decrease the 150,000 pedestrians injured annually in motor vehicle-pedestrian crashes. Texas State could have taken advantage of October’s National Pedestrian Safety Month to educate students and address their plans to promote the safety of their residents.
The university needs to improve its current traffic signs to increase drivers’ awareness of pedestrians. A traffic sign’s general purpose is to guide drivers, regulate traffic and promote safety among those on the road. Drivers who have trouble noticing standard traffic signs can benefit tremendously from more advanced LED signs. These signs produce even stronger light and less energy, saving energy costs significantly. In addition, the LED signs are more visible at nighttime and in dim weather conditions such as fog and rain.
Replacing the standard stop signs with flashing signs would help protect pedestrians walking on campus. The LED stop sign captures the driver’s attention through additional visual input. It has prevented right-turn crashes by alerting of roadway changes and preventing the driver from running the stop sign. With the busy roads near campus, adding LED signs would help drivers navigate roadways. Drivers have to pay extra close attention due to the current traffic signs in place, an issue that LED signs could improve.
While it is unrealistic to expect these methods will prevent any motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents from occurring, students must be aware of what to do in case an incident does occur. Texas State can use its platform to educate students on what action to take if an accident occurs on campus, including who to call, what information to gather and what additional steps to take. Educating students about public safety laws such as the 51% modified comparative fault rule is critical. The rule ensures that an injured party is not recompensated for possible injuries if they are responsible for 51% or more fault for the accident. The university needs to bring students awareness of their rights as a pedestrian.
Driving on campus has its complications of managing a busy roadway. It can be easy to become distracted by groups of students walking across intersections while trying to pay attention to surrounding cars. In addition, driving on campus can become overwhelming for those navigating the road.
Regardless, educating students about the importance of pedestrian safety is vital.
– Kadence Cobb is a journalism sophomore
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star