by Donna McCollum
It's the norm, not the exception, for university students and other pedestrians to cross North Street to the campus at the most convenient spot. Usually, after someone gets hit by a car is when police step up their enforcement of jaywalking laws. This time, the crackdown on pedestrian rules comes because of tacos, chicken fingers, and coffee.
New businesses opening up in the SFA area of North Street are increasing the flow of pedestrian traffic. Customers go to and from fast food to a fast way across North street. Rarely are cross walks used.
Samantha Hayward, who works at a restaurant across the street from campus, likes direct routes in her busy schedule." In school, we have one hour between class, and so we go check our schedule or get something to eat and walk back across. Now, we got a warning."
Some pedestrians dashing across the street were delayed when police stopped them and ticketed them for jaywalking. Nacogdoches police are once again issuing citations, after a long absence of enforcing the law. They want to ward off future accidents in a busier area.
Some students believe they're old enough to take care of themselves. Aaron Brockley said, "I guess I can take my safety in may own hands in walking across the street." But, it's the law. On North Street from Starr Avenue to East College, it's a "cross only at crosswalk" area. A citation could lead to a $100 fine.
Some of the warning signs are weathered with missing letters. Others clearly mark the enforcement area. There are those students who don't need a sign or a safety talk from police. They know crossing at the corner is the safest thing to do. Courtney Outlaw allows extra time to cross with the light. Her advice is, "Use the crosswalks or you're going to get run over."