Mopeds and Scooters are sometimes or all too often misused by people who perhaps shouldn’t have them, or who should have more sense. People who ride their Mopeds or Scooters sometimes don’t realise they are intimidating pedestrians, while others are more deliberate about it.
Most students who walk to class have felt a motorized vehicle zoom by on their path.
Scooters, mopeds and motorcycles are all allowed on campus as long as they stay on the roads and off pedestrian pathways.
But some students say they have noticed that motorized vehicle rules are not always followed on campus.
Freshman Brittany Wood recalled an incident in which someone on a motorized vehicle moved from the street to the sidewalk to avoid a car and almost hit a woman and child.
“I get slightly frustrated when they come onto the sidewalk and almost hit people,” Wood said.
Randy Young, Department of Public Safety spokesman, said if a motorized vehicle is operational and activated then it should be on the streets, otherwise it can be pushed on pedestrian paths.
Young said UNC has the authority to enforce penalties and can issue fines as well as traffic citations, but it is easier for police to see offenders on the road than on walkways.
Young said he was unaware of any serious accidents involving vehicles hitting pedestrians.
“If certain areas become problem areas, we will certainly respond to a complaint,” Young said.
He said the department’s emphasis is on safety for all areas of the University.
DPS is responsible for alerting people to safer transportation practices for pedestrians, such as using crosswalks, using signals and avoiding the use of cell phones when crossing a street.
Young said UNC is also partnering up with the Watch for Me NC campaign, which aims to promote safe practices among drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists throughout the Triangle.
He said the high amount of these two-wheeled vehicles in Chapel Hill is due in part to rising gas prices and falling parking availability with the increase of development in the town.
Some students said they believe the vehicles do not pose a threat to students’ safety.
“They’re just annoying, especially if they come up behind you,” said freshman Lindsey MacAllister.
MacAllister said as a pedestrian she hasn’t had an incident with a vehicle on a walking path, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
“As long as I have time to get out of the way, I’m fine.”
Junior Emma Brink, the manager for the cross country and track teams, said the vehicles are fuel-efficient and make transportation easy without a parking pass.
“They’re really convenient for early morning practice. It can be a tight schedule.”