Sarah Varnadoe, staff writer

On Apr. 11, a walkable campus learned a valuable lesson about staying safe on sidewalks and in crosswalks. Every week, The Campus Carrier receives the police beat, a report of Berry incidents during the week, from the Berry College Police Department. This past week’s report confirmed that an incident took place at the roundabout on Apr. 11 at 2:02 p.m.

According the report, an officer was dispatched to Opportunity Circle in front of Hermann Hall in reference to a medical emergency.

Due to it being an open investigation, officers and the school are unable to provide much information on the specifics of what happened. Dean of Students Lindsey Taylor was able to comment on who was involved in the accident.

“My understanding [is that] it was an incident between a student pedestrian and a visitor on campus driving,” Taylor said.

Although details of the accident are unavailable, the fact that something did happen is enough to warrant a review of how best to stay safe while walking on campus. Taylor discussed different safety measures that Berry has in place.

According to Taylor, some of the crosswalks, including some by McAllister and Krannert, are raised in order for drivers to see pedestrians easier if they are in a lifted car. The lighting in the roadway around the roundabout flashes to alert drivers to people in the crosswalk, and the sensors beep when pedestrians walk through to remind them to look up and check for oncoming traffic. The campus police have also previously attended SGA meetings to discuss how to be safe.

It is still unclear whether or not the school plans to add further safety measures to prevent future incidents.

“We’re in some conversations, but it’s too soon to be able to comment,” Taylor said.

However, there are some general safety tips students can follow to decrease their chances of being in an accident while walking. Looking up and both ways before crossing the street helps pedestrians to see any oncoming cars. 

Being knowledgeable about when and where there tends to be congestion lets students know points on their walk where they should be extra cautious. Traffic and the number of students crossing the street peaks between classes. It is important to remember that caution must be used at all times, not just at these more congested times and places.

Taylor stressed that sidewalk safety is not only the responsibility of the pedestrian, but also drivers who must be cautious. They too must look both ways before driving through a crosswalk and should be aware of when and where there will be the most students crossing the road.

“Look out for each other, just be aware,” Taylor said. “Be aware of what you’re doing. Be aware of what others are doing around you. That’s the best way to keep us all safe.”

Following basic sidewalk safety tips and rules of the road will help prevent another accident.

Posted by Campus Carrier

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