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Special Alert: Pedestrian Harassment at Crosswalks

Sept. 26, 2011

To: The Campus Community

From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security

Date: September 19, 2011

The Safety and Security Office is informing the community of two reports of student harassment at crosswalks over the weekend. The harassment is actually an attempted assault, serious in nature.

On Saturday, September 24, 2011 at approximately 9:17 p.m. a student reported that while waiting for a car to pass on West Lorain Street near the Science Center, the vehicle swerved as if to hit him. The occupants laughed at the pedestrian. On early Monday, September 26, 2011 at approximately 12:41 a.m. two students reported that while waiting to cross Professor Street at West College Street, a vehicle stopped and the driver motioned for them to cross in the crosswalk. When they started to cross, the vehicle was reported to accelerate near the pedestrians causing them to take action to avert being struck. The vehicle occupants laughed at the pedestrians. The first vehicle was described as a truck; the second as an SUV. Oberlin Police Department was notified and attempted to locate the responsible vehicle.

The Safety and Security office offers the following information from Oberlin City Ordinances:

In marked crosswalks, when traffic control devices are not in place, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way by slowing down or stopping for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon or closely approaching the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety to walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is close enough to pose a hazard.

Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk shall yield to all vehicles upon the roadway. Pedestrians should not cross mid-block when crosswalks are available at adjacent intersections. However, the operator of a vehicle must operate with due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon a roadway.

Should anyone experience an incident like the two incidents described, seek safety and report the incident immediately to Safety and Security at 440-775-8444 or the Oberlin Police at 440-774-1061. Describe the vehicle and its last direction of travel. If you can safely obtain the license plate number, please report that number to the Oberlin Police.