Be cautious, wait for signals
Published: Sunday, February 6, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 6, 2011 15:02
Growing up, our parents always tell us to look both ways before we cross the street. Why does that cautious advice seem to escape us after our elementary school years?
Last Thursday, a female was hit by a car and injured while crossing Gemini Boulevard by the Recreation and Wellness Center.
Although there is a crosswalk located at that intersection, the woman did not wait until she had the right-of-way to cross.
The woman was conscious at the scene and taken to the hospital. The woman's name and condition have not yet been released.
It's sad what happened to the woman and we hope for a full recovery, but at the same time we can't say we're surprised.
It's far too often that we see pedestrians entering the street when the stoplight is red either because they're not paying attention or he or she too impatient to wait a few extra seconds for the light to change.
Although walking against the light may seem like a petty offense, it can be extremely dangerous — as the incident last week proves.
Just because the way looks clear doesn't mean you should cross against the light.
Orlando is known for its traffic and bad drivers and you really shouldn't assume that if a car does approach while you're illegally in the intersection that the driver will see you in enough time to stop.
As a pedestrian you need to be much more vigilant to traffic rules because you are harder to see and because if a car hits you, you'll fair a lot worse than the car and driver.
We're lucky enough at UCF to have a condensed campus that makes walking to class safe and easy with only a few areas where students have to cross any major traffic — one being by the Recreation and Wellness Center and the another being by the Arena.
Some people have commented on the Future's article about the accident saying that UCF should build pedestrian bridges over that intersection. But we really don't think that's the answer.
UCF already has enough projects underway and with recent budget cuts, adding something like this doesn't seem feasible, especially considering it's really not necessary.
If you're in such a rush that you can't wait at the crosswalk, then leave ten minutes earlier. And really, pay more attention. When you're crossing or waiting to cross, put down your cell phone and your iPod until you're safely on the other side of the road.
As strange as this statistic sounds, 1,000 pedestrians had to go to the emergency room in 2008 because they were paying too much attention to their cell phones and not enough attention to their path, according to a study done by Ohio State University.
Sgt. Troy Williamson of the UCF Police Department told the Future that many students are distracted by electronic devices and that in light of this incident, the UCF PD will pay more attention to pedestrians crossing at busy intersections and start handing out more tickets for violating traffic laws.
We're in college now. Students need to take more responsibility for their life and pay attention to traffic.
It's almost pathetic that the university is being forced to take extra precautionary measures because students are too distracted or hurried to cross at the proper time.
The crosswalk light is there for our safety. Obey it and you won't have any problems.