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Safety Advisory Bulletins

Pedestrian Safety


UMass Amherst has recently been beset by motor vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents that have resulted in serious bodily injury to the pedestrians. The UMPD is committed to preventing future similar occurrences and we are asking our community members to help by following personal safety guidelines set forth herein.

Massachusetts General Law states that a civil citation may be issued to a motor vehicle operator who fails to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk unless a traffic light indicates the motor vehicle should proceed, or the pedestrian is not within five feet of the motor vehicle’s side of the road. However, pedestrians should never presume that the crosswalk is a sanctuary because the law provides the right of way.

Be Alert:

1. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the road, always walk FACING traffic, so you can see any car that might be out of control or might have a driver who does not see you.

2. Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap, or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.

3. Tips for crossing the street:

• Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
• Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
• Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
• If you see a car, wait until it goes by or stops. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.

These guidelines are suggested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. They are intended to remind us that we have responsibility for our personal safety and we cannot always rely on other people to keep us safe.

This notice is intended for informational purposes only and is not the result of any investigation or specific knowledge about the existence of inadequate personal safety measures by individuals.