Fact or Fiction: Aggie Pedestrians Always Have Right of Way on Campus

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

With several vehicle/pedestrian accidents already accounted for on the Texas A&M campus this year alone. News 3 wanted to find out if it's an urban legend, Aggie tradition, or just plain myth that students always have the right of way on campus.

Chances are if you've lived in Bryan/College Station long enough you've heard that last part to be true, but is it?

"It's crazy, most people aren't looking. I almost got hit down there," A&M Student Thomas Seith said looking down the road.

"I've seen a guy fall off his bike because he had to stop really fast," Student Ashley Austin said.

They come on bicycle and by foot, but it's what's happening when they cross the street that has some Aggies concerned.

"Some of the students I've seen are real idiots about it," A&M Student Cory Perkins said. "They'll walk right out in front of a car, and expect them to stop."

Perkins says students often believe they always have the right of way since cars in the area are conditioned to stop.

"I think it's the driver's responsibility to stop, but that doesn't help the student when the driver doesn't," Perkins said.

Right of way is given to students using crosswalks. But students crossing elsewhere, such as the middle of road, are supposed to yield to vehicles, but even then University Police Department says drivers hold some responsibility.

"The law also says the drivers must use due caution to avoid accidents with pedestrians," Sgt. H. Allan Baron with UPD said.

"We've had several happen this year alone, two to be exact," Bar on said.

One of those accidents was between an A&M bus, and a university employee last month. Police said then that the accident occurred after the bus stopped at a stop sign, and was attempting to turn when it struck the pedestrian.

The campus also saw another four vehicle/pedestrian accidents last year.
That's why police say they are actively patrolling certain campus areas, and if pedestrians or drivers are caught breaking the rules of the road--it can cost big.

"These tickets can run you up to 500 dollars," Baron said.

For Aggies students, looking twice, and maybe three times before crossing may just be the safest bet all around.

"I think pedestrians have right of way, but the cars are bigger," Austin said.

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