An Ewha student, late for class, rushes to arrive in class on time. She sees a 24-ton truck coming, but chooses to dash across as fast as possible. This is a familiar scene happening at every intersection nowadays at Ewha.
The vulnerability of students crossing roads around campus is clearly seen when accidents occur. The steep slope of streets and students’ carelessness have been suggested as chronic reasons for traffic accidents on campus. The Office of General Affairs (OGA) has calculated that approximately 5,000 vehicles enter and exit campus per day. . Aware of the potential for vehicle accidents on campus, the OGA informs vehicles with a sign post telling them to drive under the speed limit of 20 km/h. Also, the office has arranged five traffic managers to stand alongside the most crowded roads. In the case of big events, when there is more traffic, an extra labor force is deployed.
“The OGA is doing its best to minimize inconvenience as much as possible bregular patrolling that goes around all day,” said Kim Young-hwan, an official of OGA.
Yet, some point out that having control over the vehicles is not enough to prevent traffic accidents.
“I don’t think many students care enough about cars that are present every day,” Kang Ji-eun (Political Diplomacy, 3) said. “There are times when students almost get hit by a car because they are concentrating on their cell phones.”
Furthermore, campus road safety is threatened by the construction of a new dormitory started in September, since construction trucks go around campus all day long. With building materials loaded, a truck is harder to drive compared to when it is empty. Not only people, but cars and motorcycles just try to get ahead of the trucks, creating very dangerous situations.
“When a giant truck comes down to this intersection, I blow my whistle and wave the red stick to signal the passersby to stop,” said Ryu Gwang-bok, the road safety manager. “Honestly, I am nervous all day because so many students just step out in front of trucks thinking that they can go faster than the huge vehicle.”
The OGA is looking for ways to make not only roads but the whole campus a safer environment.
“Pedestrians must follow the directions of the road safety managers and avoid staying in the road for an unnecessarily long time, as it increases the possibility of accidents,” Kim said. “Besides accidents concerning vehicles, some students are reported to have tripped over sidewalks. The OGA hopes to have a safe campus with the efforts of all concerned.”
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