BALTIMORE - They don’t always stay in the crosswalks, and they compete with thousands of cars each day just to get to class, but Johns Hopkins University students couldn’t miss the 10-foot tall, bright yellow wall of shoes awaiting them at the corner of St. Paul and 33rd Streets.
"We need them to have some kind of way to cross safely so that we don't have all these accidents and we don't have all these deaths," said Sophomore Margo Heston.
Four serious accidents in the last two years and a pair of deaths dating back to 2009 have raised the stakes for students, and campus leaders hope by constructing the eye catching wall of shoes, they can teach them how to better protect themselves.
"Everyone is plugged into their electronic devices---their IPhones, the Blackberrys these days,” said JHU Media Relations Representative Amy Lunday, “Students, more than anyone, are plugged into technology so it's important to remind them, out of all the things they're doing and so busy to pick their heads up from their phones, put them in their pockets, take their ear buds out before they cross the street."
Students collected many of the shoes in donation bins over the summer and purchased the rest from local thrift stores.
There are 6,000 shoes in all and each pair represents a victim here in Maryland.
"Each pair of white shoes on this wall represents one person who has died each year in the car accidents and all the yellow shoes are all the 3,000 others who are involved and they represent the street lines across a crosswalk," said Heston.
As part of the awareness campaign, sidewalks, shuttle buses and even a pedestrian bridge to the Homewood campus will carry banners and decals promoting pedestrian safety.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
SPECIAL REPORT | Thousands of child care center inspections reports are NOW AVAILABLE. Find out what inspectors founds inside day care centers across the state.
SPECIAL REPORT | When it's out of your hands, when your life is at the mercy of an armed, masked man staring down at you from the barrel of a gun in your own home, you grasp at whatever it is you can control; breathing, composure, or faith.
SPECIAL REPORT | ABC2 Investigator Joce Sterman has reviewed thousands of pages of documents for her Bad Medicine report.