Driving: Best Practices Campus

Driving Safely On and Around NMSU Campus is Essential. With the increased congestion on campus in vehicles, utility carts and pedestrian traffic; safety and caution are absolutely critical.

Please follow these basic safety guidelines to ensure a safe campus and please REMEMBER, the pedestrian always has the right of way.

Safely Share Campus Streets

  • Look and yield the right-of-way to individuals walking, jogging, or biking.Vehicle_Cart_Collision
  • Watch for pedestrians and vulnerable individuals in parking lots.
  • Watch for pedestrians 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.
  • Before making a turn, stop fully and look in all directions for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing.
  • Wait for a bicyclist to complete the trip through the intersection [Never turn right immediately after passing a cyclist]
  • Stop with other stopped vehicles at crosswalks [rather than continuing], as they may be allowing a pedestrian to cross the street.
  • Yield to anyone crossing the street when turning left on a green light.
  • Watch for surprising changes in direction, especially by cyclists or carts avoiding road hazards.Skateboard_Traffic
  • Check for approaching cyclists, when parallel parked, before opening your door.
  • Leave sufficient space when passing vulnerable road users and take every possible precaution to avoid collision.

Eliminate Distractions When Driving

  • Do not allow technology [cell phones, text messaging, web browsing, adjusting equipment] to 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.Texting_While_Driving
  • 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 navigation system.

Watch for the Unexpected

  • Pedestrians, even university students and employees, can be unpredictable, so expect the Walking_Streetunexpected.
  • Even if they are subject to traffic fines, some bicyclists and utility 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.

Wrong_Way_BikeBiker_Car

Pass Bicyclists and Utility Carts With Care

  • Treat bicyclists and utility carts as you would slow-moving cars. Don’t tailgate, and do wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass them.Biker_Down
  • Reduce speed when passing and allow at least 3 feet of passing space (5 feet separation by larger vehicles).  Check your mirror or over your shoulder after passing before moving back.
  • Bicycles and utility carts on the campus streets are vehicles with same rights and rules as a motorist.
  • Bicyclists and campus utility 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 and utility carts face and give them space to maneuver.

Drive the Speed Limit and Avoid Congested Campus Areas.Busy_Street

  • 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 across 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 avoided by taking an alternate route or waiting for a less congested time.

More on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is new stuff, right? Sure, but check out this National Safety Council vintage film from 1953 at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-qiQh4mrHA&feature=youtu.be

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.