Students must use crosswalks appropriately

The University Police Department has received a large number of complaints recently regarding pedestrians and vehicles properly utilizing and responding to our pedestrian crosswalks on campus. We have also had several accidents with injuries reported recently involving bicycles and vehicles.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind the campus community of proper use of crosswalks by pedestrians, responsibility of drivers, and those who are riding bicycles or other types of non-traditional transportation.

State law says that pedestrians or bicycles in crosswalks have the right-of-way at all times, and all vehicular traffic must stop until the crosswalk is clear before proceeding. Pedestrians shall enter a crosswalk only after stopping prior to entry, activating any crosswalk traffic signals if available, looking both ways, and entering when safe to do so.

Those on bicycles or other types of transportation must dismount (except ADAapproved devices) and walk across, not ride across. State law also reflects that pedestrians do not have the right-of-way when crossing streets that don’t intersect, but drivers should use caution when a pedestrian is seen crossing in the roadway.

Those riding bicycles must also adhere to the “rules of the road” set forth by the State of Mississippi. Bikes are considered vehicles and must adhere to the same rules of operation when on roads. Examples would be stopping at stop signs or red lights, stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, speed limit, etc.

Cyclists and other nontraditional transportation users on campus who use our dual-function sidewalks must remember that pedestrians always have the right-of-way, so be cautious as it relates to sharing the sidewalks.

I would like to also remind the campus community that according to campus policy, golf carts utilized by campus offices are considered vehicles and must operate in accordance to the rules of the road also when on campus streets. Carts can only be used on campus sidewalks under certain circumstances.

In closing, I have instructed all enforcement officers to monitor for adherence to policies and law related to these issues, and they will utilize tools available to them to gain adherence to users that include warnings, campus citations, and state citations along with education opportunities.

When driving, biking or walking, be mindful of your surroundings; limit use of your technology devices, and texting and driving (including bicycles) is now against the law.

If you have any questions of concerns, please call or email me at any time.