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August 20, 2013

Campus traffic safety urged as campus again bustling with activity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University police are once again urging pedestrian and bicycle safety as students begin the 2013-14 academic year.

"We have well-marked designated street crossings throughout campus, and we ask that pedestrians use them," Purdue police Capt. Eric Chin said. "We also ask that motorists be very aware of the heavy foot and cyclist traffic and help ensure everyone's safety."

Motorists, he said, are required to yield to pedestrians. However, even at a crosswalk, a walker can't just assume a car driver sees them and is going to stop.

Chin said drivers, riders and walkers should keep distractions to a minimum. That means limiting the use of iPods, cell phones and other mobile devices when navigating campus and near-campus areas.

Chin says bicyclists also must know campus guidelines and laws and be courteous. Cyclists should ride at a slow pace and not weave around people in crowded areas. Rather, they should walk the bike until they're clear of the crowd.

Cyclists are subject to the same laws as vehicles, which include not riding the wrong way on one-way streets or disregarding traffic lights and stop signs. Bikes also should have the proper equipment, such as headlights and taillights, and cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets and visible clothing.

Bicycles may be ridden on designated drives and bike paths but not on sidewalks unless otherwise posted.

The university requires that bicycles on university property be registered with the Purdue Police Department. Registration is free and is valid for five years. Details on bicycle registration are available at http://www.purdue.edu/police/programs/forms/bikeregistration.htm. Bike owners can pick up a sticker at the police department, 205 S. Martin Jischke Drive.

West Lafayette city residents must register their bikes with city police.

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu 

Source: Eric Chin, 765-494-8221, ehchin@purdue.edu