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Think Before You Walk, Pedestrian Right-of-Way on Campus

Living on a college campus can sometimes feel like living in a bubble where there are rules that normal society does not follow. At the University of Maryland pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks. Outside of our bubble, if a pedestrian attempted to walk out in front of a car, there is a very good chance they would be hit.
 
Recently on campus, a car outside of CSPAC hit two graduate students. According to an article in the Diamondback, the accident occurred around 8:15 p.m., while the students were crossing in the crosswalk from CSPAC to the Stadium Drive parking garage. Only one of the students had to be taken to the hospital for head injury.

 
Now, think how many times you have crossed the street without even second-guessing whether a car was going to stop. Also, how many times have you crossed the street when there was no cross walk?
 
On campus, it makes sense that students have the right of way. We are constantly rushing around campus to get to classes. Maryland is a large school so getting from one class to another makes speed walking a must. However, walking out in front of a car is under no circumstance logical.
 

“The other day I was walking to class from the physics building and wasn’t paying attention. A car almost hit me, but fortunately they stopped in time,” Pooja Deb, a sophomore letters and sciences major, said.

 
After a couple semesters on-campus, walking out into the street at a crosswalk feels like second nature. You feel as though the car has to stop and therefore there is no reason to hesitate. If you really think about it, in a battle between man and car, the car will always win.
 
In the Diamondback article, police stated accidents are uncommon on campus. I think with the carelessness of students crossing the street on a daily basis, this could change. It is easy to think these kinds of things will not happen to you, but it is also easy for a person’s luck to run out.
 
The question arises whether or not students should have the right of way on campus. There are certain places on campus such as the crosswalk coming from the mall and crossing to the biology-psychology building where cars have a stop sign and therefore students are able to cross. I believe in this situation a student should have the right of way because legally cars must stop.

 
“I definitely think students should have the right of way because we are the majority on campus,” Emily Rosen, a sophomore psychology major, said.
 
This is true but there are places like crossing from the math building to the bus stop that sits across from the building where cars are speeding because there is no stop sign in place. Not everyone who drives on campus each day is aware of this rule and therefore students are put in danger when they assume cars will stop for them.
 
I don’t think it is necessary to revoke the rights of the students to have the right of way. However, I do think as students we need to be more conscious and alert when crossing the streets in order to keep the number of accidents down.

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