Letter: Keen eye for safety

As parents, we all go to great lengths to teach our children to stop and look both ways before crossing a street. Why? Because we are trying to teach them situational awareness from a very early age. The best way to remain safe in today’s high-speed society is to be constantly aware of one’s surroundings.

As an aviation instructor at the University, this is something that must be instilled into our students. Since aviation is so three-dimensional, a pilot must constantly be aware of so many other things than just their own aircraft. Situational awareness is what is also needed by our students on campus so we don’t have any more fatalities from students getting hit by MTD buses.

Twice a week I drive from the airport to campus to teach my aviation ground class. The scariest part of that trip is making the turn from Green Street onto Goodwin Avenue around three in the afternoon. On one of these days, there were probably fifty students crossing that intersection while I was trying to make my turn and the majority of them were totally oblivious to their surroundings. Most were talking on their cell phones or wearing headsets while they totally ignored the walk/do not walk signal lights, and then you have the students on bicycles. They are the absolute worst offenders as most of the time they don’t even slow down at that intersection.

Reducing the speed limit and strobe lights on buses all sound like good solutions to the problem, but the real solution is for students to be more aware of what’s going on around them. Let’s be honest, what’s the main reason someone gets hit by a bus or a car at a campus intersection? The answer is they simply don’t see the vehicle because they aren’t paying attention!

Better situational awareness on the part of our students is what will prevent any further tragic pedestrians on campus.

Bill Jones

University employee