Jaywalking isn’t just a bird on its two feet. Awareness is the best way to walk safely around campus, according to the University of Connecticut Police Department and Division of Public Safety.
Although construction causes an inconvenience, jaywalking between jersey barriers and other working blocks cause danger to both pedestrians and drivers on campus, according to UConn Police Deputy Chief Andrew Fournier.
Police redirected both foot and vehicle traffic at the intersection of North Eagleville Road and Glenbrook Road this week, due to construction.
Fournier emphasized obeying the laws that are set in place for the safety of all people. Restrictions on speed and traffic laws are in place for a reason.
“Drivers need to obey traffic laws whether it be speed or traffic signals,” said Chief Fournier.
UConn Police Lieutenant Justin Gilbert said pedestrians also need to practice awareness of their surroundings. Headphones can be an issue because the person listening to music is only relying on eyesight.
“It’s about knowing when you’re crossing from a safe area to potentially dangerous,” Gilbert said.
Often times students are late for class so they are careless about walking into the street, said transfer sophomore Hunter Linfesty, a mechanical engineering major at UConn.
“I’ve seen people walk [in front of] cars,” said Linfesty. “Don’t take chances, it’s just better to wait the extra five seconds and wait till it’s safe.”
Being distracted is the world students live in, said UConn junior Amy Balla, a psychology and human development and family studies major.
“There’s that joke that if I get hit I get free tuition,” said Balla. “It’s part of our culture, we just go.”
There have been sporadic complaints, mostly from pedestrians almost getting hit by cars, according to Fournier. A pamphlet created by UCPD for complaint procedures can be found inside the Public Safety Building located at 126 North Eagleville Road. The information and complaint form can be found on the UConn Division of Public Safety website.
In terms of reports to authorities, jaywalking is not a common issue. According to the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, no pedestrian-involved crashes have been reported in Mansfield so far this year.
“Make sure you’re visible,” Gilbert said. “Make eye contact with the driver before stepping out.”
Nicholas Hampton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.