UWPD says most pedestrian, biker related crashes are preventable

UWPD says most pedestrian, biker related crashes are preventable

Dane County is often viewed as biker and pedestrian friendly but with so many people sharing roadways the county isn’t immune to accident. Nearly 30 people died in crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists between 2011 and 2015, according to county data. The report shows most of those incidents happened in Madison. University of Wisconsin-Madison police officers tell News 3 Now that the majority of these type of accidents on or surrounding campus are preventable.

University of Wisconsin Police Department public information officer Marc Lovicott said the department urges students to remain alert and follow the rules of the road via social media and traffic stops. Lovicott tells News 3 Now that many Badger students did not grow up in cities as large as Madison so understanding how to navigate campus safely is an adjustment.

“It’s a two prong approach,” Lovicott said of educating students and drivers. “We make sure to have a presence out there to educate and warn people and then we follow up a few weeks later and may issue citations.”

There were 20 accidents at University and Randall in the last five years, officials said many involved bikers and walkers.
Lovicott said bikers and walkers need to remain alert and make sure to not assume a car will stop. However, university police also work hard to hold drivers accountable.

“I know it’s frustrating for drivers if they’re driving during class change and it’s like a never ending sea of people crossing the road but the rules of the road state that when there is an individual actively walking in a cross walk they have the right of way and you have to stop,” Lovicott said.

UWPD also does what it can to help. On home game days it reroutes traffic to lessen the number of crashes.

“We adjust traffic patterns because of badger game days. In certain areas we make some roads in the campus areas one way. We don’t allow turns in certain areas just because there is so much pedestrian traffic,” Lovicott said. “We shut down Monroe street right before and after the game to allow individuals to cross the street and do so safely.

If if a car hits a pedestrian going 20 miles per hour, about 13 percent will die or suffer a severe injury.. That rises to 40 percent at 30 miles an hour, and about 75 percent at 40 mph.

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