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Pedestrian Safety Campaign Launched At Marshall University

Marshall University

Marshall University is introducing a new pedestrian safety campaign in response to a fatal collision on campus last fall.

The program, called Heads Up Herd, reminds students and pedestrians about ways to stay safe around busy traffic. These include basic tips like looking away from cell phones while crossing, using crosswalks and making eye contact with drivers.

As part of the program, professors are provided with pedestrian safety PowerPoints as class material and students are given reflective, iron-on patches for their backpacks.

“In my whole career here, the biggest complaint I got was how our students and community cross the streets. So that’s what we’re working on,” said Marshall Director of Public Safety Jim Terry.

The program exists as a response to a fatal accident in which an oncoming vehicle struck and killed a Marshall University student on campus. The state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is set to begin the second phase of a traffic safety audit next month.

“We average a student a year hit by vehicles. And it’s dangerous,” Terry said. “And 95 percent of the time, or higher, it’s the pedestrian’s fault.”

Last month, the school also partnered with the city of Huntington and the DOT to help make the campus safer for pedestrians. One of the proposals included speed limit reductions from 35 mph to 25 mph on 3rd and 5th Avenues. A new crosswalk on 20th Street outside the school’s rec center also provides safe passage from the main parking lot.