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Spotlight Tip of the Week
As anyone that has tried to cross campus when classes are changing knows, there are a lot of people walking on and around campus, interacting with vehicles, skateboarders, cyclists and others. As a pedestrian, there are a number of steps you can take to keep yourself safe.
Make sure you are visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn or in inclement weather. According to NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
- Wear light colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
- Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
- If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.
- Use marked crosswalks and stay in the markings when crossing. Darting out into traffic or crossing diagonally across a crosswalk or street is dangerous, as vehicle operators are not expecting this.
Consider the Weather
- In fall and spring, be on the lookout for wet conditions and leaf debris that can cause slippery walking conditions.
- When roads are covered with snow or ice, never assume a driver will be able to stop in time to grant you the right of way.
- Wear traction devices for snowy walkways; while snow and ice mitigation on campus walks is a priority, freezing weather can occur quickly and sporadically in colder spots, like on the north side of buildings. Pay attention when walking on sloped walkways, stairs or shaded walkways.
Stay Alert - Avoid Distractions
Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Put your cell phone or tablet away and pay attention to your surroundings. Ear buds and headphones greatly decrease your ability to hear warning signals or approaching vehicles or equipment. Leave them off.
Follow the Rules
- Think like a driver; know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
- Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Walk in Safe Places
- Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
- If there are two or more lanes of traffic flowing the same direction through a crosswalk, make sure that all vehicles are stopping for you. You may be hidden by a courteous driver's vehicle in the closer lane, and the second lane of traffic may not stop if you are not visible to them.
- Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers.
- Avoid walking along highways or other roadways where pedestrians are prohibited.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Almost half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian casualties involve alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 34 percent of that total was on the part of the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your decision-making skills, physical reflexes and other abilities just as much on your feet as it does behind the wheel.
University of Idaho Emergency Response Team
The University of Idaho maintains an Emergency Response Team (UIERT) through the office of Environmental Health and Safety. This team’s purpose is to provide rapid response to incidents that threaten lives, property and/or the environment, including chemical, radiological and biohazardous incidents.
The UIERT, comprised of all members of EHS, is trained and equipped to handle most incidents that may occur on campus. All team members have completed, at a minimum, a 40-hour hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) course as well as FEMA training in Incident Command and are ready to respond to small and major incidents. The UIERT maintains an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) which is fully stocked and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
The team responds to about 9 incidents of any size per year; these are mostly small incidents. The last major response was in June 2018 for a major oil spill at the dairy farm. A dump truck caught on overhead lines, pulling down two attached power poles which had 3 transformers on each and resulted in a spill of approximately 100 gallons total of mineral oil. The team worked long hours in the sun to capture the spilled oil from the pavement and dig up barrels of contaminated soil to protect the environment.
The team also has an agreement with the City of Moscow to respond to other incidents in the city as requested. This service is activated as needed by the Incident Commander acting for the City of Moscow and may be initiated by calling 911.The team continuously collaborates with the state of Idaho Fire Marshal, Moscow Volunteer Fire Department, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Washington State University to share information, plan incident responses and participate in training.
Emergency Numbers for: Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls Campuses
- Campus Security (24/7): 208-885-7054
- Environmental Health & Safety: 208-885-6524
- Facilities Services (office hours): 208-885-6246
- Facilities Services (after hours): 208-885-6271
- Parking and Transportation Services: 208-885-6424
- Public Safety and Security: 208-885-2254
- Recorded Emergency Updates: 208-885-1010
- Safe Walk (24/7): 208-885-7054 or 208-874-7550 | email@example.com
- Vehicle Assistance (Pit Crew): 208-885-6424 or 4:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 208-885-7054 (Monday-Friday)