As we enter the last third of 2012, there is no denying that technology is all around us. Cellphones, texting, and tablets are everywhere as you walk across campus. This can be a blessing if you are trying to keep in touch with friends and family far away, but it can also be a curse if you are trapped in an enclosed space with someone who is trying to solve all their domestic issues on a cell phone at high volume within six feet of you.
From a campus safety perspective, we would like to make a plea for the low-tech virtues of paying attention to your surroundings, especially when it comes to pedestrian and nighttime safety.
It is great that we have Officer Mark Chavis on the corner to brighten your day, but he is primarily there to prevent you from being flattened by traffic. There have been a number of serious pedestrian injuries at Case Western Reserve University over the past few years, some of which are caused by inattentive drivers and others that are caused by inattentive pedestrians.
For safety reasons like these, drivers are now banned from texting while driving in many states, and the use of non-hands-free cell phones is also banned in an expanding ring of places.
When crossing the street, stop texting for a minute, follow the whole red light/green light thing, and be aware of vehicular traffic. Knowing you have the right of way may be a small moral victory, but will not count for much if you get in a collision with several thousand pounds of metal.
As far as nighttime safety goes, be aware of what is going on around you, no matter how urgent the need to respond to the latest text is.
Think of it this way: we have all seen some version of the nature film where the lion contemplates the herd of antelope and picks the one he wants for dinner. If one antelope has its head up and appears alert and another one has its head down as its hooves fly across a cell phone keyboard, which would the lion choose?
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CWRU Police Blotter 9/3/12 to 9/10/12:
9/4 – Wallet taken from locker, Veale Center
9/5 – Theft, rocking chairs taken off porch, Guilford House
9/7 – Bicycle theft, unsecured bike taken from rack, Kelvin Smith Library
9/10 – Bicycle theft/arrest, suspect arrested in the act of bike theft, Kelvin Smith Library
The Case Western Reserve University Police Department reminds first-year students that they can get a free U-lock by registering their bike at the CWRU Police Department Headquarters or the Wade and Fribley student services offices.