Much like the rest of the state UW-Green Bay Public Safety officers have observed an increase of community members texting and focusing on their phone while traveling campus (walking and driving). This obviously creates a safety hazard, especially in locations where pedestrians and vehicles come into contact (cross walks, parking lots, etc.).
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. Distracted driving is dangerous and claimed 3,450 lives in the United States in 2016 alone. 1 out of 5 traffic accidents is caused by inattentive drivers.
Distracted walking is also a growing safety hazard. More and more people are bumping into walls, falling down stairs and stepping into traffic because they are focused on their cell phones rather than their surroundings.
State law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk — including crosswalks on campus. Pedestrians, please use marked crosswalks. Pun down your cell phone and look left, right, and left again before crossing a street. Watch for turning vehicles. Walk facing traffic when there is no sidewalk. Don’t assume vehicles will stop — make eye contact with the driver. Don’t wear headphones or text/talk on the cell phone while crossing the street. At night wear bright/light colored clothing or reflective material and carry a flashlight.
You will see UW-Green Bay Police addressing traffic violations on and around campus. We will be enforcing crosswalks safety and distracted driving. Please be attentive when you get behind the wheel so we can work together to achieve zero traffic injuries or deaths in Wisconsin. Have a safe and productive semester.