The University of Virginia is challenging its students, staff, and visitors to get safely across the street to the Corner.
The HOOS Crossing campaign kicked off Tuesday to stop distracted pedestrians and prevent an accident. HOOS in this case is an acronym to help pedestrians remember safe crossing skills: Halt conversations. Only cross at crosswalks. Obey traffic signals. Show respect by waving a thank you to drivers who stop for pedestrians.
It sounds so simple, but the lesson our parents taught us - to always look both ways before crossing the street - came before technology put distractions in the palm of our hands.
“I think a lot of pedestrians, like my friends, they just walk on out and I thinks sometimes cars don’t look,” said Nicki Gerlich, a fourth-year UVA student.
So UVA’s Community Relations Office is hitting the streets for the HOOS Crossing campaign. Students and others, including UVA's Dean of Students Allen Groves, are rewarding pedestrians who cross University Avenue safely.
“Everyone has a story to tell about almost being hit or almost hitting someone. We're really trying to raise awareness about that to prevent something like that from happening on the Corner,” said Samantha Richardson, with UVA community relations.
The university put together this campaign with the Corner Business Association after hearing complaints about dangerous close calls between drivers and distracted pedestrians.
The HOOS Crossing group will be stationed at different crosswalks on the Corner from noon to 2 p.m. every day this week through Friday.
Safe crossing earns pedestrians a coupon card for Corner businesses and a chance to win prizes.