On average, 66 traffic accidents occur in a year here at Virginia Tech. That means we have over one accident a week — a number so high that it sounds a bit absurd. However, this problem reflects a serious attitude problem people on campus have when it comes to crossing the street.
Although Virginia Tech has done a good job making this campus pedestrian-friendly, it has been engrained in our student culture that pedestrians have complete priority when it comes to crosswalks, even to the point where people think the lessons of old like looking both ways are no longer applicable. This goes double when people are looking at their phones.
This “right of way” mentality is a characteristic of our culture that has blinded road safety and disregarded the caution necessary when interacting with much larger, heavier vehicles. Students need to be more self-aware when nearing these crosswalks, while also realizing drivers often have this same careless mentality as well.
Accidents will continue until both drivers and walkers begin to treat crosswalks with the same understanding of cooperation rather than selfishness and ignorance.
There are possible solutions that the school administration could do that would be effective, such as taking out parking spots before the crosswalks on Washington Street or Alumni Mall, thereby increasing visibility for both pedestrians and drivers. Yet, this would only be a Bandaid on the issue and doesn't tackle the issue of our culture’s lack of awareness.