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.


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

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.