Crossing streets can be dangerous to CEU students

Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 12:00am

The College of Eastern Utah is battling the ongoing problem of students being struck by traffic while trying to cross in designated crosswalks.   The crosswalks near the Jennifer Leavitt building, the Institute buildings and the intersection of third east and fourth north have all been the scene of student/automotive accidents.

This semester, there  have been three official reports filed with CEU of students allegedly being hit by cars while crossing a street and several unofficial complaints. Many factors contribute to this problem.

Most of the curbs near these crosswalks are marked as no parking zones, but are not enforced.   Campus police used to write citations to help keep the problem at bay, but due to  changes made within the past years, only Price city  police have jurisdiction of the streets surrounding the college.   These illegally parked cars make it  difficult for drivers to see  pedestrians until they have already stepped into the streets.  

Another problem pedestrians face is the twice-a-day steady flow of Carbon High student drivers.   High school students' sometimes  reckless tendencies is a frequently voiced complaint with CEU students. Price City Police talked to Carbon High students within the last month and warned they would start citing cars for speeding, but CEU officials remark that no notable changes have been made in the way the streets are monitored.

This failure to regularly patrol the streets will inevitable lead to a "senseless act" says James Prettyman, CEU police chief.   He explains, if a student or pedestrian is struck by a motorist, it will be hard to call it an accident since the proper preventive actions are not being taken.

CEU representatives have spoken to the Price City Council, but with little prevail.  Representatives  have suggested flashing lights near the cross walk areas, but were told this would be too expensive.   They have also suggested crossing flags similar to those used in Salt Lake, but the council said CEU would have to pay at least half, maybe all, of the cost even though the streets are city owned.   A meeting was setup within the last few weeks for students to voice their concerns about this situation and offer suggestions, but the meeting was cancelled unbeknownst to the students; the meeting has yet to be rescheduled.

"People need to understand that when someone is in a crosswalk, they stop," says Bill Osborn, assistant dean of students. "But students need to be respectful of traffic too."   Osborn says students sometimes linger in crosswalks waiting for approaching friends.   Vigilance is key in preventing any incidents.

Filed under: news