By now, the majority of people are familiar with the dangers of texting while driving. However, the same dangers exist when pedestrians are distracted by their electronic devices as well. In order to educate college students of the dangers of “distracted walking”, the Dover Police Department has partnered with Wesley College, Wilmington University, and Delaware Technical and Community College in a campaign titled “Head’s Up.”
Each school will provide information to incoming students through online resources, print materials, signage, and social media to promote awareness of the dangers of distracted walking. Road ID has also joined the effort by offering discounted items to students as part of the campaign. Road ID provides items to promote safety and identification in case of an emergency to joggers, bikers, or anyone that frequently walks/crosses roadways.
By the numbers:
A 2014 study by Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,040 teenagers about distracted walking. The below images depict their results.
You can view the full study here: 2014 SAFE KIDS DISTRACTED WALKING STUDY
Dover Police Public Information Officer, MCpl. Mark Hoffman
The dangers of distracted walking are very real. As the City of Dover continues to grow, so does vehicle traffic, and student populations who frequently walk or cross our roadways. With the ever growing use of electronic devices for communication, entertainment, fitness tracking, and more, the dangers of distracted walking/running are becoming more visible in our area. In order to bring attention to this issue before it becomes an epidemic, the Dover Police Department Victim Services Coordinator (Diane Glenn) developed the Head’s Up campaign to prevent future casualties from occurring. Diane has put a lot of effort into this campaign, including partnering with several local schools, businesses, and other community leaders to get the message out that distracted walking is dangerous. The goal of the campaign is to save lives through education. The Dover Police Department is proud to be a part of the Head’s Up campaign and will provide resources to participating colleges and share information through their various social media outlets.
Statements from Partner Colleges:
Delaware Technical and Community College
“The safety of our students and employees is our top priority at Delaware Tech so we join the Dover Police Department and our partner institutions to support the “Heads Up” campaign. We encourage walking and running as part of our wellness programs and we will also promote awareness and pedestrian safety on our campuses and in the community through this important effort.”
– Dr. Mark T. Brainard, President, Delaware Technical Community College
“Wesley College has had the unfortunate experience of losing two students in vehicle pedestrian deaths in 2010 and 2014. Wesley College is proud to be a part of the downtown Dover community. Students presence extends beyond the buildings of our campus. It is not unusual to see students jogging, running or walking in the immediate vicinity of the campus wearing headphones and/or texting. We are a close knit family, one death due to something that could have been prevented has a terrible emotional impact on the campus community.
Students safety in all respects is of paramount importance to our college. When the Dover Police Department reached out to us to join the fight to educate students and neighbors in Dover about this issue, we did not hesitate to get on board.”
-Wanda Anderson, Dean of Students
“The Wilmington University is committed to providing it’s students, faculty, staff and visitors with a safe environment in which to obtain an education. The Department of Public Safety is staffed by fourteen constables, and a university safety officer, who report to the Executive Director of University Safety. WU Constables are licensed by the State of Delaware and provide around the clock coverage for the New Castle, Wilson Graduate Center and North Dover sites. WU Constables are augmented by a private contract security firm as well as State, County and municipal police agencies.
Wilmington University supports the importance of the Heads Up Campaign for it’s students as a proactive measure to enhance safety.”
-Mark Daniels, Dept. of Public Safety