NMSU Campus Driving: Best Practices
Driving Safely On and Around NMSU Campus is Essential
With the increased congestion on campus in vehicular, cart and pedestrian traffic; safety and caution are absolutely critical.
Campus drivers need to use caution at all pedestrian crossings, i.e., intersections, crosswalks, malls, parking lots, and other unmarked areas.
REMEMBER, the pedestrian always has the right of way
1. Share campus streets safely by:
- Looking and yielding the right-of-way to individuals walking, jogging, biking, etc.;
- Watching for pedestrians and vulnerable individuals in parking lots as well as when entering campus streets from parking areas and driveways. Note the potential for individuals on the sidewalk or nearby areas to dart across your pathway;
- Turning, before making the turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing. bicyclists on either side and anyone in the bike lane
- Stopping fully and checking all approach directions before turning at intersections and driveways to make sure you do not cut off pedestrians, approaching bicyclists, or bicyclists in a bike lane;
- Waiting for the bicyclist to complete the trip through the intersection [Never turn right immediately after passing a cyclist];
- Stopping with other stopped vehicles at crosswalks [rather than continuing], as they may be allowing a pedestrian to cross the street;
- Yielding to anyone crossing the street when turning left on a green light;
- Watching for surprising changes in direction, especially by cyclists or carts avoiding road hazards.
- Checking for approaching cyclists, when parallel parked, before opening your door;
- Leaving sufficient space when passing vulnerable road users and taking every possible precaution to avoid collision.
2. Eliminate distractions to safety when driving:
- Do not allow technology [cell phones, message texting, web browsing, adjusting equipment] divert your attention.
- Do allow cell phone calls to go to voicemail.
- Never read notes, write reminders, or take down numbers
- Avoid eating, drinking, and changing controls.
- Never look for lost or reach for fallen items.
- Stay focused and alert at all times. Practice short glances and avoid prolonged staring.
- Do conduct personal grooming before leaving or after reaching your destination.
- Other distractions to avoid when driving: reading print media [including maps], mediating disputes between children or adults, watching in-car video, and adjusting the GPS or nav system.
3. Guard for the unexpected from the vulnerable users.
- Pedestrians, even university students and employees, can be unpredictable, so expect the unexpected.
- Even if they are subject to traffic fines, some bicyclists and carts users will ride the wrong way, charge across pedestrian crosswalks, and run stops signs.
- As a motorist you are more likely to be charged and held liable for damage and injury.
- Drivers must ensure that there is sufficient room to stop for, approach or pass the vulnerable road users. Watch for bicyclists before opening car doors.
- Minor deviations in travel direction can affect nearby individuals. Don't drive distracted or after consuming medicines or other drugs.
4. Pass bicyclists and carts with care.
- Treat bicyclists and carts as you would slow-moving cars. Don't tailgate, and do wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass them.
- Reduce speed when passing and allow at least 3 ft of passing space (5 ft separation by larger vehicles). Check your mirror or over your shoulder after passing before moving back.
- Bicycles and carts on the campus streets are vehicles, with same rights and rules as a motorist.
- Bicyclists & campus carts are allowed to use the entire lane when necessary.
- Don't use your horn in close proximity to bicyclists. Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way. Recognize the road hazards that bicyclists & carts face and give them space to maneuver.
5. Drive the speed limit and avoid congested campus areas.
- Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Note that the speed limit in the parking lots and campus housing areas is 15mph.
- Allow extra time to travel accross campus when classes are in session. Some intersections and mid-block crosswalks are extremely crowded during class changes.
- Often these risky congested areas can be avoid by taking an alternate route or waiting to an less congested time.
Distracted driving is new stuff, right? Sure, but check out this National Safety Council vintage film from 1953 at
It's one of the very first to discuss driver distractions and the importance of the brain while driving! Join in spreading awareness about the problems of cell phone distracted driving.