SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — PennDOT and a local college are teaming up to try and prevent a tragedy that struck more than 7,000 times last year. That number, according to the CDC, is how many pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads.
On his way to the University of Scranton DeNaples Student Center, Angelo Monaco had to cross Mulberry Street.
“Sometimes I’m in the middle of the street and they go by. What the heck? So, you know, it’s kind of dangerous,” said Angelo Monaco, a senior at the University of Scranton.
“It is a little bit scary. I’m not going to lie. Especially at night,” University of Scranton Junior Jessica Tsu said.
Mulberry Street is a state road and a very busy one connecting two sides of campus. Even though there are designated crosswalks for the university’s more than 4,000 students, staff, and faculty.
“I feel like sometimes people don’t stop even if they see you,” Tsu added.
It’s why the University of Scranton and PennDOT teamed up for a pedestrian safety event.
Information cards were handed out to make students aware of how to reduce their risk of becoming, a pedestrian crash victim.
“I feel the students have to take their own initiative and make sure of their own safety, and you see some students make sure you don’t have your earplugs in or you’re on your phone and pay attention to your surroundings,” PennDOT Safety Press Officer, Michael Taluto explained.
The University of Scranton says it has invested $40,000 in technology at several crosswalks along the campus. The lights can be turned on manually by pressing a button or activated by motion detection cameras.
“You can turn our flashing lights on that we have, our rapid flashing beacons, but you still need to stop, okay? The cars, you’re not going to win the battle with a car,” Sustainability Director and member of the Safety Committee for the University of Scranton, Mark Murphy said.
Students say the horizontal blinking lights and the motion detector cameras can only do so much. It still comes down to awareness which they say is a two-way street.
“It’s kind of like we both have to just both be on the lookout. Do what we’re supposed to do,” Tsu continued.
And avoid being added to a list of troubling pedestrian statistics.
The Governor’s Safety Highway Association reports 186 pedestrians in Pennsylvania were killed last year. Of that total, 44 percent occurred in a crosswalk.