- Use good judgment when crossing the streets and pay attention. Avoid texting or talking on the phone while crossing the street to ensure your attention is on your safety.
- Use sidewalks when available. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Observe the WALK/DONT WALK signals. When the traffic signal indicates WALK, proceed to cross with caution. Check to make sure that vehicles are not running a red light or making turns. If the flashing DON’T WALK signal begins before you step off the curb, you should not enter the crosswalk.
- Crosswalks are designed to increase pedestrian safety, however, vehicles have been known to stop inside the crosswalk. It is wise to stay on the curb until all vehicles have stopped moving. Avoid crossing street mid-block, especially near parked cars.
- Do not impede the flow of traffic and do not attempt to stop a vehicle by stepping out too early. Remember, even though vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians, you will always lose against a vehicle in motion.
- Do not take chances with your life. Getting to the other side of the street a few seconds faster is not worth the risk of serious injury or death.
Walking Safety Tips
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious in the direction you are heading, change your route. For your safety and the possible safety of others, call the Police to notify them of suspicious activity.
- Stay away from poorly lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts down dark alleyways or paths. Choose well-lit, heavily traveled sidewalks.
- Pay extra attention to places along your path that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, recesses, etc.) Avoid these areas as best as possible.
- Carry a personal alarm or whistle that can be used to alert those around you know when something is wrong.
- Carry yourself with confidence. Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass. Walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible.
- Do not use headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking alone at night as this reduces your awareness of your surroundings.
- Trust your gut. If you become concerned or uncomfortable about your surroundings, go to a nearby store, restaurant, or public space that is well-lit and safe.
- Do not walk alone at night.
- If you are traveling alone with no other means of transportation, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) provides designated “335 SafeRides” from dusk until 6:00 a.m. Call MTD for more details on boarding and route limitations: 217-265-7433.
- University of Illinois students are also encouraged to take advantage of the campus’s SafeWalks Escort Service, which is available to students for short walking trips on campus by calling 217-333-1216.