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Pedestrian safety campaign launched

Marshall University has launched a new pedestrian safety campaign on its Huntington campus to create continued awareness for students and staff who cross busy streets daily.

The campaign is called Heads Up Herd, reminding pedestrians to keep their heads up and their eyes off of their cell phones. Pedestrians are also reminded to cross streets at crosswalks; always look left, right and left again before crossing; and to make sure they are seen by oncoming drivers.

Marshall University Police Chief Jim Terry says pedestrian safety is always top of mind for his staff, and all members of the Marshall community should follow traffic laws and use the designated areas for crossing the road.

“The number one complaint I receive from people in this area is how members of our community cross streets surrounding the university,” said Terry. “It simply is not worth the time you might save by crossing in an unsafe manner to risk getting hurt.”

Brad D. Smith, president of Marshall University, says the pedestrian safety campaign is long overdue on campus.

“Student and staff safety is our priority,” said Smith. “These are basic safety tips that we all may have heard already, but sometimes we need gentle reminders to put those tips into practice. The Marshall family is close-knit and we do not want to have an accident or tragedy that could have been prevented.”

In July, other steps were taken to enhance safety on major thoroughfares near Marshall’s campus. West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston issued a temporary order to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph from 35 mph on Third and Fifth avenues between Hal Greer Boulevard and 20th Street. The City of Huntington also completed a new crosswalk on 20th Street between 3rd and 5th Avenues that makes it safer for pedestrians to access the Marshall Recreation Center or Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Push buttons on each side trigger beacon lights that flash to alert motorists in both lanes that pedestrians are preparing to enter the crosswalk.

Freshmen attending Week of Welcome were given pedestrian safety tips in their check-in packets and safety flyers are posted in buildings across campus and in dormitories. Digital signage reminding students to make safe choices are running on campus television screens continuously. A short PowerPoint with pedestrian safety tips was distributed to all faculty on campus, for a short review with students at the start of their classes this semester. This week, University Communications and MUPD officers staffed a table on the Memorial Student Center Plaza, handing out reflective, iron-on patches that students can take home or adhere to their bag or backpack on the spot. The patches are an effort to make students crossing streets, especially at night, appear more visible to drivers.

Terry says he hopes the campaign generates a stronger awareness for traffic safety.

“I want students and employees to think about what they’re doing before they cross a roadway in an unsafe manner,” said Terry. “I would love to complete this academic year without any incidents involving members of our community around campus.”

Students who were unable to stop by the table may pick up a patch from the MUPD office at 1801 5th Avenue or the Intercultural Affairs office in Old Main, room 107.

For more information on Marshall University’s pedestrian safety campaign or for pedestrian safety tips, visit


Photo:  University Relations Specialist Melanie Whitt (left) and MU Police Officer Jordan Adkins distribute reflective patches to Marshall students.