Walking Safely

Walk Safety Tips

When walking, we often share the road with motor vehicles, bicycles, and other walkers. We usually take for granted that we can walk without incident because most of the time we do. But accidents can and do occur. To keep yourself and others safe, it's important to follow the rules of the road.

The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission has prepared these tips for staying safe when walking:

  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths separated from vehicular traffic.
  • If there are no sidewalks or paths, always walk on the side of the street FACING road traffic, as far to the left as possible. This way you can see vehicles as they approach and get out of their way if necessary.
  • Dress to be seen. Wear bright colored clothes so drivers can easily see you. At night, wear retro reflective materials on your shoes, cap, or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming toward you. If it is dark or hard to see, you may also carry a flashlight.
  • Obey all signs, signals, and traffic lights.
  • Always look for vehicles backing up when crossing driveways, and look for traffic at every driveway and intersection.
  • Tips for crossing the street safely:
    • Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
    • Never cross in the middle of the road unsupervised.
    • If a car is parked where you are crossing, look for a driver in the car—they may be getting ready to move. If there is not a driver in the car, go to the edge of the car, look left, right, and left again, and only cross the street when no cars are coming.
    • If no cars are parked where you are crossing, stop at the curb or the edge of the road. Look left, right, and left again, before you step into the street. Also look behind and in front of you for traffic.
    • Wait until no traffic is coming, and begin crossing.
    • Always walk when crossing the street—never run! You could trip and fall when running.
    • Keep looking for traffic and make eye contact with drivers until you have finished crossing.
    • When crossing the street at a signalized intersection, stop at the curb or edge of the road. If a pedestrian pushbutton exists, push it to activate the "WALK" signal. If the "WALK" signal is lit, look left-right-left for traffic before crossing the street. Also, look behind and in front of you for turning vehicles.
SafeWalks and SafeRides

If you are walking at night, follow these guidelines from the Public Safety Department:

  • Don't walk alone
  • Stay in well-lit areas
  • Do not draw attention to yourself or your group, especially as you make your way home from bars
  • Disconnect from your iPod or mp3 player
  • Put your mobile phone away and pay attention to your surroundings
  • If something does not look right or your gut instincts say that you should cross the street, follow your gut
  • When you go out at night, have fun, but do not get so inebriated that you misbehave, have poor judgment, or become a target of crime
  • Most importantly, use your common sense!

If you find yourself in a situation where you need transport, take advantage of two services provided for the campus community: SafeWalks and SafeRides


SafeWalks is a courtesy service provided to University of Illinois students, faculty, or staff, so that they do not have to walk alone within the campus area. People who are interested in a SafeWalk should contact the University of Illinois Police Student Patrol.

Operating hours:
  • Sunday – Thursday: 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Please give at least 20 minutes notice for the SafeWalk.

Contact: Call (217) 333-1216 or press an emergency phone button and wait for the dispatcher.


SafeRides is a limited MTD service that provides safe transportation for individuals who are generally traveling alone when no other means of safe transportation is available.

Operating hours:
  • Fall Semester—Daylight Savings in November: 7 p.m. – 6 a.m.
  • Daylight Savings in November—Daylight Savings in March:
    5 p.m. – 6 a.m.
  • Daylight Savings in March—end of Spring Semester:
    7 p.m. – 6 a.m.

There is no SafeRides service during summer session I and II.

Contact: Call (217) 265-7433 or visit www.cumtd.com/riding/saferides.