Staying safe on State

State Street is the busiest street in Big Rapids, causing traffic jams and, unfortunately, the occasional accident involving both drivers and pedestrians.

Ferris business administration sophomore Caleb Campbell knows firsthand the dangers of crossing State Street. On Nov. 2, Campbell was struck by an oncoming vehicle because a driver did not see him crossing State Street near McDonald’s. Campbell chipped a tooth and had scrapes covering his face.

“She was pulling out of McDonald’s and she didn’t see me,” Campbell said of the driver. “She only saw the oncoming traffic. She didn’t look my way at all.”

According to Department of Public Safety Director Bruce Borkovich, distracted driving and walking is to blame for the majority of accidents on State Street.

“We encourage students to put the cell phones down, take their headphones out and pay attention to what is going on around them,” Borkovich said. “Our lives are so busy, and we have so many distractions, it can cause us to easily disengage from what’s happening around us. Watch out for each other and protect each other.”

Borkovich said that students should always stop, look and listen, when driving or walking in heavily populated areas. Even though texting and driving is illegal in Michigan, Borkovich knows that people still have their phones behind the wheel, which is dangerous to everyone, not just the driver.

“If a driver sees a student walking, they need to slow down,” he said. “If it is heavily populated, make sure you are not on your phone and have your foot near the brake.”

Campbell, who is doing fine, encourages students to be cautious while commuting.

“Be careful if you are crossing the street, I know I’m going to be more careful from now on” Campbell said.

Borkovich said that he believes that fewer accidents would occur if students paid attention.

“Help each other out,” Borkovich said. “Slow down. Just because a certain speed limit is posted doesn’t mean you have to go that exact speed, especially when students are crossing the street.”