Videos of bike, pedestrian vehicle crashes illustrate campus safety issue

Five people have been injured in separate crashes on campus in the last nine days, representing a continuing bike and pedestrian safety issue, university police said.

University of Wisconsin-Madison police spokesman Marc Lovicott said all the crashes involved UW-Madison students and staff, and all were preventable.

Police said that on Sept. 30, a bicyclist failed to yield at a yellow light on University Avenue and Park Street at about 10:30 p.m., and the biker was struck by a truck driver who did not yield the right of way. Both parties were cited. A video provided by UWPD shows the dark-colored truck hitting the biker, and passersby and truck occupants rushing to the biker’s aid. (Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.)

On Monday, a pedestrian was walking in a crosswalk on Orchard Street and University Avenue when the pedestrian was struck by a bicyclist, who failed to stop at the red light. The bicyclist was cited.

On Wednesday a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle near the bike path on Randall Avenue and Regent Street. In another incident that day at Charter Street and Linden Drive, a pedestrian stepped from the sidewalk into the path of a bicyclist. The bicyclist had to brake quickly, causing the biker to flew over the handlebars onto the street. The pedestrian left the scene.

On Thursday, a pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk, darted across University Avenue near Randall Avenue as traffic was turning left from Randall. The driver did not see the pedestrian and struck the person shortly after 3 p.m. A video provided by UWPD showed the green car hitting the pedestrian. (Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.)

UWPD police Chief Susan Riseling said the frequency of crashes and injuries is an indicator that bikers, pedestrians and motorists aren’t following laws, “and people are getting hurt.”

“Safety on our campus roads is everyone’s responsibility,” Riseling said.

The department said it plans to increase bicycle enforcement patrols on campus.

UWPD shared several safety and legal reminders for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists:

Police said pedestrians should only cross the street at intersections and crosswalks. And be sure to always look both ways before crossing streets. Police also suggested pedestrians wear bright clothing, especially at night, and keep your eyes and ears alert. Talking on a cell phone or listening to music can distract pedestrians and reduce the ability to hear oncoming traffic.
Police said bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as motorists, which means stopping atr stop signs and red lights and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. Proper front and back lights are required on bicycles when it’s dark out. Bikers should also wear a helmet.
Motorists should always yield to pedestrians who are in crosswalks; it’s state law, UWPD said. Police asked drivers to be vigilant, drive with care and watch out for bikes and pedestrians.

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