Jaywalking is something that college students have grown accustomed to here on campus at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. As we sprint to make it to our next class, we’re comforted in knowing that we have the right of way at every intersection, and every road (or, at least, we’re supposed to).
However, it is imperative to remember that these pedestrian laws are designed for college campuses only. For those who live on campus, it can be easy to forget about the pedestrian laws enforced outside the university, especially if you only leave to run errands or visit a friend’s house in the city.
However, drivers involved in the hustle and bustle of Kingsville highways do not share the mindset of those driving on the small, crowded streets of TAMUK; they do not approach every intersection on 6th Street thinking, ‘I’d better check for students who need to cross over.’ In the city, drivers—not us—have the right of way.
It’s our responsibility to remember that, and to wait until the road is absolutely clear before crossing. Most students know this and abide by it; however, recently there have been reports of incidents off campus in which TAMUK students have assumed that jaywalking is allowed on every street in Kingsville. Jenni Vinson, a lecturer in the Department of Language and Literature, expressed her concern over this problem, stating, “…they [students] get off campus and they’re jaywalking because they’re accustomed to being safely able to jaywalk on campus, but maybe they don’t know that they’re actually in danger.”
Vinson went on to discuss that her co-workers had informed her that they have heard of incidents in which TAMUK students had been hit by vehicles due to this dangerous mistake. Whether you’re a student who is new to town, or one who has lived here for quite a while, it is important that each and every one of us exercises great caution when walking in town.
We must make a conscious effort, not only to make sure that we ourselves are giving the right of way to vehicles, but to remind our classmates to do the same. There don’t need to be any more accidents, injuries, or close-calls.
Do your part by speaking up and reminding those who may not know—especially those who are not from around this area. The safety of TAMUK students depends on it. Together, we can all make walking a safer way to travel around town.
Follow Samuel Galindo on Twitter: @samgalindo37