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Tech looks to increase pedestrian awareness

Every year, a few pedestrians are hit on Dixie Avenue by passing cars because of distractions and ignorance.  

With only six crosswalks from William L. Jones Drive to 12th Street, many students walk across the street outside of the crosswalks.  

Tech’s communications department was asked to raise awareness by President Bob Bell’s office.  To do so, the department put together a video titled “How to Cross the Street” and posted it on YouTube.  

This video is intentionally silly and the department is trying to get it shown around campus where students normally spend time, according to Lori Shull, writer for News and Communications and the Office of Communications and Marketing.

According to Shull, this Xtranormal video was uploaded to YouTube Sept. 14.  The video is monotone and is meant to be corny.

“It’s always been a concern of ours, there’s always that fear,” Shull said.  “Anything we can do to promote awareness and try to get students to look both ways, or not talk on their cell phone, not text on their cell phone while they’re crossing the street, we are certainly willing to do it and we are going to try.

Shull said, “It’s going to be an ongoing effort.”

According to Gay Shepherd, chief of University Police, speed has never been a factor on the driver’s part. The accident is normally the pedestrian’s fault.

Pedestrian’s right- of-way in crosswalks law 55-8-134 states that “no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.”

“Pedestrians have to begin to take responsibility for their own actions,” Jack Butler, associate vice president of Facilities and Business Services, said. “As students walk across, they need to follow the same basic principles that you would in any other city.

“Walk across at pedestrian walkways, pay attention and look both ways before you walk across the street like your momma taught you when you were little, and follow standard protocol as a pedestrian.”

According to Shepherd, if the accident is the pedestrians fault, your tuition will not be paid for unless you have a good attorney, and the chances are still slim.

Though Butler does not expect to see any major changes to the road, he is making efforts to have the city install an illuminated walk/don’t walk sign for Dixie Avenue.