By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Classes started back at Texas A&M University-Commerce on Monday, which means Walmart is busier, more cars on the road and more people using the crosswalks.
Lt. Jason Bone, with the University Police Department, said that with the influx of students walking and driving, increases the chances for traffic and pedestrian accidents.
“My biggest concern right now is folks getting run over,” he said. “We have a large increase in the number of students driving to school.”
According to Bone, using common sense is critical to safety when driving and walking.
“I know it sounds like this asinine elementary school stuff, but look both ways before crossing the street,” he said. “You cannot assume that they’re going to stop just because it’s a crosswalk.”
Bone listed that most of the traffic accidents in previous years, which mainly included pedestrians getting hit by listening to their ipods and not looking before crossing the street, and bicyclers getting hit in parking lots by cars backing out, could have been avoided by taking safety more seriously.
“Pay attention to your surroundings,” he said. “Maybe it’s not a good thing to have your earphones blaring while you’re crossing the street or walking home at night. Crossing the street is going to be the most dangerous thing you’re probably going to do that day, so pay attention.”
Bone encouraged students to sign up for the Pride Alert Warning System (PAWS), which can be signed up for through the campu student website MyLeo, is a system that warns students of inclement weather updates, and in the case of a local business that was robbed last year near the campus, will put an alert out for a dangerous person in the area.
More students are also living in off-campus apartments and, to save money, are walking to school from the apartments around Commerce. Bone said students should make good decisions as to how to walk to class.
“People need to stay in groups if they’re going to walk to school,” he said. “Stick to the well lit, well-traveled streets. Walking an extra block to go down Live Oak Street may be a better thing than to take a shortcut down a dimly lit street. Your personal safety is your personal concern, so give it the attention it deserves.”