Anyone who has taken a driver’s ed course should know all the basic rules of driving. Stop at a stop sign, go when the light turns green, and when there is a crosswalk present, pedestrians always have the right of way.
However, on SNHU’s campus, crosswalks seem to be obsolete, and I alone have had multiple experiences with people going 40 miles per hour around bends in a parking lot who needed to then slam on their brakes just to avoid hitting me. One would think that 40 miles per hour in a parking lot would be considered excessive.
In my freshman year alone, I can recall at least five memorable times when I saw my life flash before my eyes in the reflection of a car window. Just last Thursday, on February 28, I was crossing a crosswalk near the Academic Center when a car decided to turn into it. At most, the car was about five inches away from having me on the hood, cracking the windshield. The worst part is that another car, which was stopped at a stop sign across the way, also decided that me standing in the middle of the crosswalk wouldn’t deter them from slamming their foot on the gas. Anything to beat the two cars coming down the road, right?
I come from New York, and everyone knows that New Yorkers are constantly made fun of for being bad drivers. However, I can honestly say that in all my 18 years of living there, I cannot think of a time when I honestly feared for my life in a parking lot because of someone going way over the speed limit.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), more than 6,200 pedestrians were killed on United States roads in 2018. This signals a 28 year high with 250 more people being killed from the previous year in 2017. According to an article in CNBC, the amount of pedestrian deaths have increased 41 percent since 2008, and they now make up 16 percent of all traffic deaths.
Quite honestly, these numbers are unnecessary.
To think that I could have been one of those 6,200 people frightens me, and what frightens me even more is that I legitimately fear walking around on my own college campus. As cliche as it may sound, I do not want to be another statistic, and I do not think anyone else does either.
So I have a simple request for everyone who has a car and drives on SNHU’s campus. I understand that sometimes you are late for class. I understand that sometimes there is an emergency at home or in your dorm and you need to get somewhere. I understand that sometimes you have had a horrible day and you are not paying as much attention as you could be. I get it. I’ve been there. We all have.
However, none of these things constitutes the loss of a life or what that loss would do to your conscience.
Please pay attention when driving around campus. Please be patient and wait for that student to get across the crosswalk. Please don’t make someone one of those 6,200 people in 2019.
Be careful. Pay attention. Drive safe.