New WVU police chief discusses pedestrian safety initiatives ahead of football home opener

New WVU police chief discusses pedestrian safety initiatives ahead of football home opener


I’m here with W.P. Chedester the new chief of the university Police Department here at West Virginia University. Congratulations Welcome aboard. Chief Bob Roberts retired earlier this year so now there’s a new chief for the first time in more than thirty years here at WVU. That’s true. I worked for Bob for almost seventeen years and I’m really excited to have taken his place and I look forward to hopefully another seventeen years here at WVU. Well I know you have a lot of initiatives that you’re working on. Let’s talk about one of them which is pedestrian safety. What are you and the university and the city doing to address that issue? One of our biggest initiatives-we did a study with the State of WV on some of our problem intersections which allowed us to target enforcement at those intersections with our officers with the city police. We’ve also started education programs that will help educate the students and local residents and the staff here at WVU about pedestrian and cross-walk safety as well. Any chance we get to put out any education materials or any kind of warnings or anything we need to get out to the students and staff and the university community. We take advantage of facebook and twitter especially. We’re here near an intersection, a pedestrian crosswalk, on University Avenue, one of the busier streets in Morgantown. What advice do you have for pedestrians as they’re navigating some of these streets and sidewalks? Be mindful of when you cross the street. Don’t always expect cars to stop. Look both ways before you step into a cross-walk and pay attention to the way that the traffic lights at intersections work. Occasionally certain intersections don’t have just a dedicated walk signal for pedestrians so there still could be traffic flowing through those intersections even though you have a walk signal. Whose responsibility ultimately under the law is it at those intersections. It’s the driver’s responsibility to pay attention and be mindful of cross-walks. So if the pedestrian does have the walk signal and they are entering the cross-walk drivers need to be vigilant and pay attention and make sure that they yield to the pedestrians until they make it through the intersection. We obviously have the first home football game of the season upon us, a lot of people are here in Morgantown who aren’t normally in the city. What advice do you have? How should we all work together in this atmosphere where we have so many people walking and so many people driving? Morgantown becomes one the biggest city’s in West Virginia on gameday. So with that kind of influx of traffic and pedestrian foot traffic everybody needs to be patient, they need to be courteous and respectful. WVU Police Department, the city police along with Granville, Star City, State Police and the county Sheriff-we have officers working almost every intersection and we’re here to give direction and make sure everything flows as it should. Let’s hope that we have a safe, first home football game and rest of the semester. Don’t forget you can get the latest on everything happening at West Virginia University at wvutoday.wvu.edu.

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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