If you were in Auburn over the summer, you may remember the blue #KnowWhenToGo bowties that were scattered across town. They created a lot of questions and buzz around this year’s Travel With Care campaign. Auburn University and the City of Auburn have been partnering on the Travel With Care campaign for a number of years to educate the community on the rules of the road and remind us all about our role in safety.
This fall’s portion of the Travel With Care campaign is in full swing on campus this week. To help students, faculty and staff move across campus safely, we have focused this year’s campaign on yielding right-of-way. Many people are surprised to learn that failure to yield right-of-way and to heed signs and signals was the number one cause of all reported traffic accidents in Alabama in 2014, contributing to more than 25,000 crashes.
One of the areas where we most frequently see right-of-way issues is at crosswalks on the periphery of campus. Great strides have been made over the past several years to enhance our campus environment for pedestrians, bicyclists and other travelers by providing more bike lanes, shared-use paths, bike racks and other improvements. It is important to remember that when we enter campus, the rules of the road still apply to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike.
Often, we find that students and employees don’t have a clear understanding of who has the right-of-way at a crosswalk. While the exact law is more complicated, it boils down to this: Drivers and bicyclists are only required to stop for pedestrians who are already within a crosswalk. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way if they are on the curb waiting to cross and a vehicle is approaching.
As more people take advantage of walking and bicycling opportunities, we have more chances for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists to interact. The Auburn Family prides itself on being respectful and courteous, but sometimes we don’t all know the rules of the road and how to safely interact with each other when our modes of transportation intersect.
We all need to take responsibility for our own safety. We encourage you to take a few minutes to review this year’s Travel With Care safety tips to learn how you can do your part. Make a commitment to pay attention, be visible and follow the rules of the road for the safety of not only yourself, but everyone in our community.