UBC is aiming to reduce automobile trips by encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation like transit, biking, and walking. However, some people still need to drive to campus. These folks can contribute to UBC’s sustainability goals by practicing safe driving and helping other road users feel comfortable. Here are a few safety tips to remember when you are commuting to campus by car:
1. Remember that UBC is a complete community
There are thousands of families living on campus, with two elementary schools, a secondary school, and five residential neighbourhoods. When you are driving through these areas, watch out for school zones and kids playing or commuting to and from school.
UBC champions active school travel and encourages families to walk ‘n roll to school. Busy roads like West 16th and Chancellor Boulevard all connect campus neighbourhoods to schools, so while you may not see a playground or school zone sign along these roads, it is important to be aware that families use them daily to get to and from school.
2. Slow down when you arrive on campus
Data from the World Health Organization has shown that lower speeds exponentially increase the chance of survival for pedestrians in the case of an accident. If someone is struck by a car going 30 km/h or below, they have a 90% chance of surviving. If the car is travelling 80 km/h, pedestrians have “almost no chance of surviving an impact” (WHO).
3. Know your roundabouts
There are several roundabouts on campus, and it is important to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists safely. When you approach, reduce your speed, choose your lane, and find your exit. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists at the marked crosswalks and be ready to stop as you enter and exit the roundabout. Do not attempt to pass cyclists. For more on navigating roundabouts, visit Walk ‘n Roll to School.
4. Share the road with cyclists
Make sure to yield to cyclists when crossing a bike lane or pulling over to the side of the road. Keep an eye out for cyclists when you’re turning left or right. Stay at least 3 seconds behind and leave at least 1m when passing (ICBC).
5. Be mindful of class changes
UBC has a rhythm — in a matter of seconds, our campus corridors can go from being peaceful and quiet to bustling thoroughfares for students racing between classes. If you start to see more people walking around, be extra careful and wait for all pedestrians to cross at intersections before proceeding.