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Stop for pedestrians, change attitude from a finger to a smile

Published (Volume 76, No. 25)

Over the four years I have been at student at UTM, I have finally found something that really irks me.

It is no secret that UTM is a walker’s campus. From one end to the other, the longest walk takes less than 15 minutes but there are the occasional streets that you have to pass to get to the other side.

It is when one comes to these roads that my pet peeve begins.
I have recently noticed that drivers on the UTM campus have had problems letting pedestrians pass. Could it be they are late for something or just plain lazy to stop and let a pedestrian pass? I have no clue but this has to stop (no pun intended).

One would have to be insane to try to cross University Street by jaywalking. Even at the cross walks, it is sometimes hard for people to get from one side to another because people will not stop. It almost takes a police officer being present for this to happen.

If University Street is busy, chances are it is going to take you a while to reach the other side.

Mount Pelia is not as bad but use EXTREME caution if crossing during peak times of the day. On the hour and about quarter till are the worst times to try crossing the road. Drivers are either barreling in to make it to class on time or are burning rubber to get off campus as quick as possible.  I risked my life at least twice a week trying to cross Mount Pelia in front of the Fieldhouse on the days that I had to be at work immediately after class.

Out of these two hot spots for crossing, there is none worse than the street going towards Crisp Hall. We all have ventured across this stretch of road.

Students eager to flee the UTM campus fly like a bat out of, well you get the point, but rarely pause for pedestrians. Could it be the overwhelming fear of the possibly of being rear-ended by another student or just the sheer act of intolerance to a fellow student?

I go through this problem day after day when venturing back to Cooper after a long day. I’m not just talking about jaywalking, I mean even at the crosswalk before entering the parking circle.

For every driver who takes a moment to let me pass and go merrily along on my little way, there is about five drivers who don’t even flinch as they pass by. 

I guess the drivers who do not stop for pedestrians don’t know they are breaking the law. At the parking circle, those who don’t stop are breaking two laws: failing to stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk and failing to stop at a stop sign.
Look out UTM Police-this could be a way to get more squad cars. Just have those who constantly break these laws pay for it.

Braking for a pedestrian doesn’t take much. Just put that foot to the brake pedal and once the person passes, feel free to punch that gas pedal once again.

Just remember this the next time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle: be polite and let that person pass. You may change one person’s opinion of you from a single finger to a smile.