Readers’ Forum: 3/12/19

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Distracted pedestrians

Over the last decade, many advances in mobile devices have helped us be more productive in our day-to-day endeavors. However, the number of pedestrian injuries has increased by 15 percent in the same amount of time. Do the advances in technology have a direct correlation to the accidents happening on the road?

Although our choice reaction is to blame distracted drivers, we must also account for the influence of distracted pedestrians. In 2016, a pedestrian was struck and killed by an automobile every 1.5 hours, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Recently, I was driving down 800 North in Provo when a student who was staring at her phone walked right into traffic. As the cars around her came to a screeching halt, she continued to stare at her phone and waltz right across the road. For those who drive near campus on a regular basis, this seems to be a regular occurrence.

According to Reader’s Digest, 11,000 injuries are caused every year from pedestrians walking and texting simultaneously. A decrease in the number of accidents associated with pedestrians must start with each of us.  When you cross the street, are you distracted or are you aware with what is going on around you?

The no-texting rule isn’t only for drivers. I urge each of you to always be aware of where you are when walking and driving. Nothing is more important than your life; don’t risk it.

— Noah Featherstone

St. George, Utah

Library closing time

Early in my freshman year, I was sitting in the library late at night finishing up some assignments when rock music began to play over the speakers. I was confused, but chuckled as I figured this was a fun way of waking up the studying students. I got back to work but was soon interrupted by security kicking me out because the library was closing. Flustered, I gathered my things and walked out of the vacant building. Returning home, I clumsily entered my dark room, careful not to wake my sleeping roommate, switched my dim desk lamp on and cautiously finished my assignments.

Studying is hard. It becomes even harder when done in the dark, amid the sounds of snores, with your warm, inviting bed just a few feet away.

The library is a resource designed to provide students with an effective setting for schoolwork. This is something I, along with many of my peers, find myself in need of past the closing midnight hour.

While researching colleges, I went on a tour of the University of Maryland campus in my home state. At UMD the campus library is open for students throughout the entire night. The policy for UMD’s Mckeldin Library is as follows: on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. the following morning, the library holds a “Late Night Study” session. At this time, students must present their student ID cards to remain in or enter the library, and only the first two floors remain open. This minimizes security risks, and needed resources to keep the library open.

If BYU were to adopt a similar policy it would allow students to effectively continue their studies past the strike of midnight, as so many students already do.

— Will Andersen

Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Foot traffic on campus

It’s Tuesday at 11:52 p.m., and class starts in just eight minutes on the other end of campus. However, to the thousands of thundering footsteps exiting the Marriott Center after the weekly devotional, now seems to be the perfect time to cruise in first gear.

Standing at an impressive stature of five-feet two-inches tall, a couple of Sunday afternoon stroll-paced steps gets me about three feet closer to my destination. Those blessed with lengthy limbs should take advantage of their gift and leave us cursed with stump-like legs far behind in the race to class.

During its busiest times, the BYU campus is comparable to a backed up I-15. However, if everyone were to go just a little bit faster, and if those in front were daring enough to shift up into fifth gear, we, as a student body, could be in class early. Not only would this impress our professors, but it would prepare us for a life of timeliness.

BYU’s main campus is roughly one square mile. Complete with sky-high hills and steady streams of stairs, walking campus end-to-end can feel more like a marathon than a measly mile. If walking slow is your natural inclination, by all means, do what makes you comfortable. However, know that what may seem unproblematic to you can sometimes create a problem for others.

Let us all be considerate of one another. Consider class breaks as part of your daily cardio Be inspired by the U.S. Olympic Race Walking team, who practices walking quickly everyday in search of their first podium finish.

Cougars, we came to this campus prepared to learn and excited to serve. Do your fellow students a silent act of service by helping solve a problem that shouldn’t exist. Together we can honor our motto by “entering [quickly] to learn, and going forth [with haste] to serve.”

— Udim Obot

Fort Worth, Texas

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