Operating shuttles without drivers and adding ride-share traffic on campuses raises questions about pedestrians. Here are three safety protection actions to take:
1. Reach out for resources.
With no sidewalks on the road leading from the campus of Garrett College in McHenry, Maryland, into town, students must walk along the edge of the state-maintained road.
Shelly Menear, coordinator of safety, security and compliance, asked the Maryland State Highway Administration for help. The agency provided pedestrian safety posters to hang in dorms and in the student union, and sponsored giveaways to capture students’ attention.
2. Educate students early and often.
Garrett College students also learn about pedestrian safety during orientation and hall meetings, and get reminders from campus security. “When [patrol officers] see students walking on the road, they talk to them about pedestrian safety,” says Menear.
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3. Seek smart solutions.
Sacramento State plans to have a community service officer on a pilot test of its driverless shuttle to answer questions about the technology and to address safety concerns.
“A lot of technology like this is still experimental, and we wanted students to feel safe,” says Tony Lucas, senior director of university transportation, parking and support services.
Jodi Helmer, a frequent contributor to UB, is a North Carolina-based writer.