Pedestrian Safety

Crossing Area Roadways

The Campus Police Department wants our community members and visitors to be safe. This pages addresses issues regarding crossing of roadways, particularly the town and state roads abutting the campus.

State Law Regarding Motorists Yielding to Pedestrians

  • M.G.L. Chapter 89, Section 11
    Massachusetts Law requires motorists yield to pedestrians when they are in marked crosswalks. However, you are responsible for your own safety; if vehicles fail to yield, wait until it is safe to cross.
  • It is important for pedestrians to be aware that where "another control" is present (i.e., a traffic light), vehicles must only yield when they are signalled by the light to stop. Community members should be aware of this as there are two traffic lights at crosswalks on Route 116 in front of the College. If you are crossing at one of these crosswalks, for your safety, please cross only when the pedestrian crossing signal indicates to do so, and if traffic stops.

Motorists are not required to stop for pedestrians crossing roadways when they are not within a crosswalk. For your safety, please use crosswalks whenever possible.
If you notice the traffic lights are not functioning properly, contact the Campus Police (x2304) who will in turn notify the town. When you need to cross where a traffic control is not functioning, use the same care you would use where no traffic control is present.

Safety Tips

  • Be particularly aware that at twilight and during hours of darkness, it is very difficult for motorists to see pedestrians, even in lit areas. If you wear dark clothing, be even more cautious as you cross roadways, even in a crosswalk, and even if the light directs you to cross. So, wear light-colored clothing and be alert to vehicles as you cross the road, especially after dark.
  • If you cross where vehicles are parked or other obstructions exist, be aware that other motorists may not be able to see around the cars or obstructions; be especially careful when crossing, and use a crosswalk with better visibility if possible.
  • REMINDER: Remember that, despite state law, you are most responsible for your own safety. Even though a motorist who fails to yield could be cited by police if they hit you, this does not make up for the injuries you may receive; please be safe when crossing roads.

Online Resources

Walking on Campus or Local Roads

  • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Look both ways before crossing, make eye contact with driver before stepping in front of a moving vehicle.
  • Drivers may not always stop or obey traffic signals. 
  • Pay attention, avoid distractions like texting.
  • Walk against the traffic flow (i.e., on the left side of the road) so you can see traffic.
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing when walking at night.
  • When walking with friends, walk in single file when traffic approaches.
  • Be alert to traffic and be prepared to move out of the roadway if necessary.