Enforcing pedestrian safety on campus

Danielle Bonavito, Reporter

On Sept. 18 the Safety Committee sent an email regarding pedestrian safety on campus. The email discussed measures that will be enforced to prevent collisions. 

David Hilke, director of campus safety at California Lutheran University, shared more information about the issue in an email interview. 

“The following measures are in place: Defined crosswalks, posted speed limits on campus roads and improved lighting at night around the crosswalk areas,” Hilke said.

The measures regard both pedestrians and drivers, who can both be distracted. The email elaborates on how it becomes a safety hazard for drivers when pedestrians do not use designated crosswalks. However, it can also be dangerous for pedestrians when drivers are going over the speed limit, or texting or talking on their phone. Speeding is a high risk factor involved in collisions.

“We will ask the Thousand Oaks Police Department to strategically place a digital “Your Speed” sign on campus. This will provide a supplement to the posted speed limit signs and help to make sure drivers are aware of the rate of speed that they are traveling,” Hilke said.

No specific event prompted the email to be sent out, Hilke said. The Safety Committee was forwarding the message from the Thousand Oaks Police Department.

“The Safety Committee periodically sends outs safety tips to the campus community, and with the recent start of the school year, this was an appropriate message to send,” Hilke said.

In terms of police involvement, Hilke said the Thousand Oaks Police Department will issue citations to pedestrians and drivers who violate traffic and speed laws on campus.

The email was designed to share tips and make drivers and pedestrians more aware of the issue.

“The idea of sharing the Thousand Oaks Police Department message was to provide our on-campus pedestrians and drivers with safety tips to make our on-campus roads and crosswalks safer for all,” Hilke said.

Sadaf Mohammadi, a junior at Cal Lutheran, said she feels safe on campus.

“I feel pretty safe walking around campus, especially when I see the campus security passing by constantly. I’m actually more worried about being physically assaulted rather than being hit by a car. I make sure I walk in areas well lighted at night. And I always have my phone in my hand just in case,” Mohammadi said.

Mohammadi said she considers pedestrians at fault at Cal Lutheran, as drivers can only do so much to look out for people crossing the street where they aren’t supposed to be.

“I feel like distracted pedestrians are the issue. Some people think they can walk and text, or be on their phone at the same time, yet they lose track of their surroundings while doing so,” Mohammadi said.

Sarah Ross, a junior at Cal Lutheran, sided more with the pedestrians.

“I feel that the email kind of was aggressive. It’s a college campus, people cross anywhere. Skateboarders ride anywhere. College campuses everywhere have students cross wherever they want. It’s not unusual,” Ross said.

As someone who walks frequently on campus, Ross said she usually feels pretty safe crossing the road anywhere.

“I don’t think the police should get involved in pedestrians crossing wherever. There’s not enough crosswalks on campus for students to cross where needed,” Ross said.