Students need to be responsible for own safety

The recent incident at the King Street and University Avenue intersection has resulted in a number of concerns about the safety of that particular intersection as well as pedestrian safety in general.

Of course, there is a shared responsibility on the parts of both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers need to remain vigilant at this intersection and understand that while students should obey all traffic rules, countless numbers of pedestrians cross the street when they shouldn’t and do not take all the necessary precautions.

However, students should also be motivated to pay attention and obey elementary rules of basic pedestrian safety.

Yes, we all get distracted thinking about where we are headed, when we have to get there and what we have to do when we arrive there. We get sidetracked by friends, by our phones and by our music.

But one can only place so much trust in drivers. They too are busy and easily distracted. Students need to be vigilant and not engage in dangerous and unnecessary behaviour — such as rollerblading in the middle of traffic — which puts them in precarious positions.

Some have expressed concern about the inherent danger of the intersection itself, suggesting the installation of red light cameras or a scramble intersection where pedestrians from all four corners cross at once. These ideas may have some validity and perhaps they should be considered as alternatives.

It is understandable that students may feel that they don’t need a lecture on pedestrian safety but everyone needs to pay increased attention and take a greater role in their own safety.

However, there is no replacement for common sense and students need to understand that. At some point, we need to cast aside the stopgap measures and band-aid solutions and realize that it comes down to us, and our ability to take responsibility for our own actions.

—The Cord Editorial Board