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Stay alert when on the streets

Photo Credit: Erica Barillari•The Sentry
Illustration: Genessa Gutzait• The Sentry

Being safe is more than looking both ways

Since people were kids, they were always told to look both ways before crossing the street. While this still remains an important rule, there’s more that people can do to be a safe pedestrian. 

With the invasiveness of technology, it is important for people to look up from their phones. Around campus, students and staff alike are looking down at their screens, blocking their view from what is going on around them. However, part of looking up and being aware also requires removing headphones. Using both vision and hearing will increase safety. 

Before leaving to walk outside, check the weather and make sure to have the proper attire. Colorado weather is always changing, and it can create opportunities for an accident. For example, someone could slip on black ice in the middle of an intersection. Therefore, it is important to wear proper shoes when it rains or snows and be cautious of the surrounding environment. 

As a conscious and aware pedestrian, never assume that a car, bike, scooter, or other form of transportation will stop for approaching pedestrians. They might be distracted and not react fast enough to stop and ultimately cause a fatal accident. It doesn’t hurt to use the crosswalks and not cross the streets until the signals say to do so. Additionally, eye contact communicates both parties acknowledge each other so be sure to always check left and right, ensuring danger is not present.

Use sidewalks. However, with Denver having the new community scooters, in addition to bikes that might pass by, it is important to share the sidewalk space. Although those are not allowed on every sidewalk, there are those who do not follow those rules. So make sure there is enough room for both parties but also exercise the right to say something to help prevent a future accident. 

For students heading home late from campus, wear neon or bright clothes to make it easier to be seen. Use a flashlight when walking in the dark to avoid tripping and when approaching a parking lot, stay alert. 

The Parking and Public Safety Division at CU Denver offers a 24/7- escort service for all Auraria campus students, staff, and faculty. This free service, known as the NightRider, is accessed through calling (303) 556-2000 Monday through Thursday from 6—10 p.m. For after hours and weekends, call (303) 556-3271. They also offer setting up  regularly scheduled pickups and drop offs.

Going to a school next to event centers can also pose as a higher risk for students. During football games and concerts, be sure to check out the websites to see the safety information they provide for the events. 

  But the most important thing is to stay calm. Walking in busy areas may be stressful but taking it slow and taking a deep breath can help alleviate some of that. Getting rid of the stress can help clear the mind and help make the best judgment in high-risk situations.   

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