Pedestrian Safety Notice

The following message was emailed to the Medford/Somerville campus community on March 2, 2012:

The Tufts Department of Public and Environmental Safety would like to bring to your attention two recent accidents involving University community members and motor vehicle operators that have occurred on city streets adjacent to campus. We are doing this in order to raise awareness of the hazards that pedestrians face while walking, especially after dark, and especially in inclement weather.

On February 29, 2012, at about 6:30 p.m. a Tufts community member was struck by a motor vehicle while she was in the cross walk on Winthrop Street at Telsa Avenue. The driver reported to Medford Police the she did not see the community member in the crosswalk. At the time of the accident it was dark and rainy.

On March 1, 2012, at about 7:25 p.m. a university community member was struck by a motor vehicle while in the crosswalk on Powderhouse Boulevard at Leonard Street. The driver reported that he was having a hard time seeing out of his windshield due to the snowy, icy and dark conditions, and did not see the community member in the cross walk.

Both community members were transported to the hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.

Pedestrian Safety Tips:

  • Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals where available and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Do not assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
  • Always look left, right, and left again before crossing a street, and keep watching as you cross. Be aware that drivers have differing levels of eyesight and skill in operating motor vehicles.
  • Pedestrians should be especially careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
  • Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and using reflective clothing.
  • If possible walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs as they can impair your ability to walk safely.
  • When crossing, use all of your senses and don’t use your cell phone for calls and texting.
  • Use particular caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances. Drivers may not expect you to be there or see you.
  • Adults should supervise children when crossing streets. Smaller children may be difficult for drivers to see and young children may not be able to judge whether it is safe to cross a street.

Motorists need to be vigilant of pedestrians and pedestrians need to be vigilant of motorists. Although motorists have more responsibility under the law when operating a motor vehicle on city streets, pedestrians have more at stake.

The Department of Public and Environmental Safety is working with university officials and our partners in the cities of Somerville and Medford to improve pedestrian safety on and around campus.

Please use this information and these safety tips to travel in and around campus safely.

Tufts Department of Public and Environmental Safety