New crosswalk built on campus to improve student’s safety

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By Austin Hall
Staff Writer
TJC Takes Action For Student Safety

In April of this year, an accident occurred that involved two TJC students at the blind corner in front of the Pyrtle Tech building. Elizabeth Spiva hit Cailin Jensen with her car as Ms. Jensen crossed the street. In response to the incident, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Tom Johnson, in conjunction with Chief Randy Melton, Director of Facilities Mark Gartman, and the City of Tyler Traffic Department took action to add a crosswalk where the accident took place.

“I had all three parties meet me there [at the site of the incident] and looked at it to find the best solution to help improve the safety of our students,” said Dr. Johnson.

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The volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic is probably higher than any other area on campus, and the visibility is limited. Many students are saying that the crosswalk will not make students safer because students will not use it or drivers will not follow the laws.

“We are doing our due diligence to keep students safe. Whether they use the crosswalk or not is up to them. We prefer our students to use the official crosswalks for their safety,” said Chief Randy Melton.

Now that the crosswalk has been completed, time will tell of its effectiveness.

Dr. Johnson stated, “Our goal is to provide the safest environment that we possibly can, but it is up to others to voluntarily cooperate.”

The administration has done their part to ensure student safety. The responsibility now lies with the students. Below are Texas Transportation codes that students may want to consider in order to achieve a higher level of safety, and prevent any further incidents from occurring.

Sec. 552.003. PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY AT CROSSWALK. (a) The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway in a crosswalk if:

(1) no traffic control signal is in place or in operation; and(2) the pedestrian is:(A) on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling; or(B) approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and proceed into a crosswalk in the path of a vehicle so close that it is impossible for the vehicle operator to yield.(c) The operator of a vehicle approaching from the rear of a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway may not pass the stopped vehicle.(

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 552.004. PEDESTRIAN TO KEEP TO RIGHT. A pedestrian shall proceed on the right half of a crosswalk if possible.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 552.005. CROSSING AT POINT OTHER THAN CROSSWALK. (a) A pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on the highway if crossing a roadway at a place:

(1) other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection; or(2) where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.(b) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, a pedestrian may cross only in a marked crosswalk.(c) A pedestrian may cross a roadway intersection diagonally only if and in the manner authorized by a traffic control device.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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