News, WVU News

University police add portable signs at intersections

MORGANTOWN — In the wake of two more pedestrians being struck by automobiles on or near the WVU campus, university police  added portable signs at intersections where the incidents have occurred.
Motorists should have noticed the signs Thursday.

Two students were struck, but suffered only minor injuries, on Wednesday at intersections on Morrill Way and Patteson Drive. The Patteson Drive intersection was also the site of a fatal accident on

Feb. 1. Later that month, a second pedestrian was struck and seriously injured crossing Monongahela Boulevard, between the Coliseum and Creative Arts Center.

Immediately after the first two accidents, university officials began meeting with various city, county and state officials, including the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board, to prioritize ways in which safety at crosswalks can be increased.

In addition, student leaders and members of the Student Government Association hosted two Safety Walks where students and community leaders identified areas in the downtown and Evansdale communities that may need additional safety measures for pedestrians.

University Police also expect to receive a grant in the coming weeks that will permit increased enforcement at key intersections.

“We recognize that all of these immediate actions are not permanent measures, but long-term solutions will take time to investigate and then implement appropriately,” said Rob Alsop, WVU vice president for strategic initiatives.

In the meantime, the university has launched an educational campaign aimed at increasing driver and pedestrian safety and awareness for students, faculty and staff through campus digital signage and WVU social media.

Those safety tips include:

For drivers:

  • Never text and drive.
  • Don’t wear earbuds while driving.
  • Stay alert for pedestrians at all times.
  • Slow down during bad weather conditions.
  • Be extra cautious at night — pedestrians can be hard to see.
  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Never drive under the influence.
  • Obey all traffic lights and signals.
  • Don’t risk running a red light.
  • Reduce your speed for yellow traffic lights.

For pedestrians:

  • Cross at marked crosswalks and intersections, and obey the signals.
  • Always yield to vehicles and bicycles.
  • Stay to the right and avoid walking in bike lanes.
  • When there are no sidewalks, jog or walk facing traffic.
  • Make eye contact with oncoming drivers and show your intention to cross.
  • Look up from your phone.
  • When walking at night, wear bright colors and stay in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t step into traffic from behind an obstruction.
  • Turn down the volume of your phone.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on your phone while crossing a street.
  • Don’t walk and text!
  • Never rely on a car to stop: expect it won’t.