GWU placing safety stickers on the ground

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - In this new digital age, it’s not an uncommon sight to see people looking at their their phones, especially on a college campus.

"You're walking around. You're answering text. You're getting ready for class. You're answering e-mails. You're on the phone,” said Samantha McGovern, project coordinator at the operations division of George Washington University.

The University is using bright stickers and placing them on busy sidewalks along H Street, between 21 and 22 Street, Northwest. They’re on the ground so students can see them as they’re looking down on their phones or tablets.

The stickers remind pedestrians they should be looking up before crossing the street.

"The best part about this is getting students out of their phones and mobile devices in order to see traffic coming, see cyclists, see trucks,” McGovern said.

She called the area the center of campus, where food trucks and on-going construction only add to the pedestrian distractions.

"You're face is looking down wards instead of looking up, instead of looking around you, instead of being aware,” she said. "Students cross anywhere…they walk along the street and are jetting out in between cars."

Senior Jessi Payton admits she’s guilty of doing the same thing.

"When everybody gets out of class. It's just a huge pack of people walking and you don't even look,” Jessi Payton said. "People walk into me all the time because their heads are down."

The senior is not convinced the new sidewalk stickers will work.

She thinks it’s a symptom of a bigger problem.

"You need to be connected at all times,” she said. "My parents say is a problem but it's all I've really I've ever known."

Her father, Mark Payton, said the problem is not going to away so easily.

"That's probably a good start, probably won't work but if we keep after it and keep after it then we'll make a dent,” he said.

Freshman Ahilan Amirthanayagam thinks it’s a good idea.

"I think the signs will make people think twice,” he said.