Roanoke
77° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Virginia Tech wants safer crosswalks

By Orlando Salinas
Published On: Jun 05 2013 01:47:28 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 05 2013 10:45:12 PM EDT
Virginia Tech wants safer crosswalks
BLACKSBURG, Va. -

When it comes to crossing the street, Virginia Tech says it wants to make that moment even safer.

This reporter was looking for a story and started a conversation with at officer at the Virginia Tech Police Department. I was told that Tech's looking at some very different technology to make crosswalks safer.

We went to the intersection of Prices Fork and Turner. A main drag with some super big electronic flashing lights to let drivers know someones crossing the road.

But pedestrians also have to do their part and use their brains and pay attention too.

One woman was crossing, she loooked at our camera and then she kept texting and not looking.

Another person showed up in the crosswalk on his  skateboard, that's illegal. He's supposed to walk it. Then he looks down at his phone, while crossing.

Then one man, who looked like a student, was in the crosswalk, he was looking but we noticed how close the cars were getting to him anyway. The drivers didn't stop completely.

Then, while a student is talking to this reporter, someone on a bike shows up in the background. The law says cyclists are supposed to walk their bikes. This guy barely avoids getting hit by two different cars.

Virginia Tech police say it's looking at new technology that would hopefully make crosswalks around the campus alot safer. Major Kevin Faust says some of the newer innovations work on motion sensors, "When somebody walks into that zone the lights automatically come on and getting brighter so that somebody coming down the street in a car after dark, suddenly sees the crosswalk getting brighter."

Virginia Tech police say between 2011 and 2012- 14 pedestrians were hit by cars on the VT campus. No one was killed.
So when might some of this technology show up around the campus? I'm told maybe within the year.