Sunday, June 09, 2013
During the months of April, May, and June, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has been focusing enforcement efforts on pedestrian safety. MCPD has been conducting a number of operations at locations with marked crosswalks and areas that have been identified as pedestrian High Incidence Areas (HIAs) -- those with more pedestrian collisions. Police are issuing citations to both drivers and pedestrians who are breaking the law. To date, Police have issued over 2,000 citations to pedestrians for crossing mid-block or against the pedestrian signal, and over 300 citations to drivers for not yielding to pedestrians.
Particular attention is being paid to the following HIAs:
Colesville Road between Fenton Street and Noyes Drive (Silver Spring)
Connecticut Avenue between Independence Street and Georgia Avenue (Aspen Hill)
Four Corners (Silver Spring)
Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue (Silver Spring)
Randolph Road between Selfridge Road and Colie Drive (Wheaton)
Rockville Pike between Halpine Drive and Hubbard Road (Rockville)
In addition to these HIAs, MCPD have focused pedestrian enforcement actions on other crosswalk locations around the County where driver compliance with pedestrian safety laws has been an issue, including:
Veirs Mill Road at Turkey Branch Parkway (Aspen Hill)
Bel Pre Road between Georgia Avenue and Layhill Road (Aspen Hill)
Democracy Boulevard between Old Georgetown Road and Bells Mill Road (Bethesda)
Arlington Road between Elm Street and Old Georgetown Road (Bethesda)
Muddy Branch Road between Suffield Drive and Diamondback Drive (Gaithersburg)
Aircraft Drive between Century Boulevard and Germantown Road at the Germantown Transit Center (Germantown)
Middlebrook Road at Great Seneca Highway (Germantown)
Lost Knife Road between Odendhal Ave and Contour Rd at the Lake Forest Transit Center (Montgomery Village)
Wooton Parkway near Wooton High School (Rockville)
Spring Street at First Avenue (Silver Spring)
University Boulevard at Reedie Drive (Wheaton - Glenmont)
Randolph Road at Livingston Street (Wheaton – Glenmont)
Randolph Road at Bluhill Road (Wheaton – Glenmont)
In Montgomery County, more than 400 pedestrians are struck by vehicles each year. Many of these collisions could be avoided if drivers and pedestrians obeyed the law and were more aware.
The Montgomery County Police Department takes a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of pedestrians. The department’s Traffic Unit routinely conducts pedestrian safety operations throughout the County to enforce traffic laws. The SafeSpeed and red light camera programs serve to improve the safety of pedestrians by slowing down traffic and reducing the number of vehicles running red lights.
Drivers and pedestrians have equal responsibilities in reducing pedestrian-involved collisions. Drivers should take extra caution when approaching crosswalks. Look for pedestrians near the crosswalk and prepare to yield when they enter the crosswalk. When driving in a residential area, or near a school zone, scan ahead for pedestrian traffic, especially for children, who may suddenly run out into the roadway. Extra caution should apply in the evening hours. Pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks when crossing a busy roadway. Assume that drivers can’t see you until you have made eye contact. Once in the crosswalk continue to scan for traffic in each lane of traffic. When in doubt, yield to vehicle traffic -- pedestrians are the ones who are injured in a collision.
View MCPD press releases on these efforts:
May 8 - Press Release #1
May 8 - Press Release #2
To see press articles on the pedestrian enforcement efforts, click below:
Wheaton Patch, Article 1
Wheaton Patch, Article 2
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch
To see more pedestrian and driver Safety Tips, visit MCDOT's Pedestrian Safety website.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership in the Greater Washington region hosted a webinar on June 5 about Montgomery County’s approach to improving pedestrian safety. Speakers shared data detailing the results of the program and discussed engineering, education and enforcement efforts that are reducing the severity of pedestrian collisions and the number of collisions in targeted, high risk areas.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett released a strategic plan in December 2007 to improve pedestrian safety that uses a multifaceted approach. Speakers discussed the use of data to guide program priorities; the role of road audits and targeted infrastructure improvements; pairing education with engineering and enforcement; successes in the Safe Routes to School program; and the integral role of law enforcement.
Click below to view the Webinar:
The Safe Routes to School Greater Washington region is a partnership of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
An analysis at a May 8, 2013 CountyStat review of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative showed that County efforts to improve pedestrian safety are having a positive effect. In 2012, the most severe collisions resulting in debilitating injury (Level 4) or death (Level 5) decreased by 20 percent and fatalities dropped to an all-time low of 0.6 per 100,000 people. This fatality rate is one of the lowest in the nation according to 2011 national data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The reductions in collisions are most notable in areas around schools improved under the Safe Routes to Schools program, the County’s High Incidence Areas (locations targeted as having the highest density of collisions) and locations where traffic calming measures have been completed.
Other program trends noted in the CountyStat review included:
An 85% reduction in pedestrian collisions for Safe Routes to School
A 37% reduction in pedestrian collisions in the County’s High Incidence Areas
An increase in the percentage of pedestrian collisions where drivers are at fault
A 29% increase in pedestrian collisions countywide from 2011 to 2012, primarily attributable to increases in parking lot collisions
19% of parking lot collisions were Level 4 (involved incapacitating injuries)
Montgomery County is committed to achieving data-driven results to reduce the frequency and severity of pedestrian collisions. These periodic reviews have become a critical and valuable part of implementing the County Executive’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative. By reviewing data and information from the program, the County works to assure that effective strategies are being employed to improve pedestrian safety. Information evaluated in these reviews provides vital direction on how best to target activities that are reducing the number of pedestrian collisions in the County. A press release has been issued on the conclusions of this most recent CountyStat review.
Click below to view the presentation:
Previous CountyStat Review Presentations can be seen on the County’s CountyStat web site and are listed by dates of the review. Click on the dates to review the presentation:
Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Engineering has begun work on bikeway improvements along 13,800 linear feet of MacArthur Boulevard. This is known as Segment 2 of improvements along this bikeway corridor. Segment 2 extends from the Beltway/I-495 to Oberlin Avenue.
The contractor, Fort Myer Construction, has been on site since mid April but has now begun actual construction work.
This project is part of the Capital Improvements Program and is designated as project number 500718-2. For budget information on this or other CIP projects, visit the Office of Management and Budget's website. For more information on this and other transportation-related construction projects, visit the Division of Transportation Engineering's website.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Some recent studies on the dangers of distracted driving:
More adults text while driving
Source: USA Today, March 28, 2013
Forget teenagers. Adults are the biggest texting-while-driving problem in the U.S. What's worse — they know it's wrong. Almost half of all adults admit to texting while driving in a survey by AT&T compared with 43% of teenagers. More than 98% of adults — almost all of them — admit they know it's wrong. Six in 10 say they weren't doing it three years ago. This follows an extensive national campaign against distracted driving: 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving for all drivers, and an additional five states prohibit the practice for new drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The AT&T survey follows a study this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 31% of drivers in the U.S. reported texting or e-mailing while driving. To see the full article, go to: www.usatoday.com/.
Do texting bans really prevent fatal accidents?
Source: The Atlantic Cities, March 27, 2013
The psychological evidence is quite clear: using a cell phone while you're driving is distracting. Conversing with someone on the phone imposes a cognitive strain that makes it harder for the brain to concentrate on other tasks. Hands-free systems keep drivers eyes on the road, but they don't do much to reduce their level of distraction. No matter how you cut it, the case for banning drivers from using mobile phones is a strong one. What's less clear is whether or not these bans actually reduce collisions. Given that mobile technology is fairly new, the question hasn't received much empirical attention. One study to look at texting bans in four states, back in 2010, actually found that crashes increased in those states, compared to neighboring states without the bans — perhaps because drivers tried to hide their phones while texting, making the act even more dangerous. To see the full article, go to: www.theatlanticcities.com/.
Kids one of the worst distractions while driving, study suggests
Source: 680 News (Canada), March 20, 2013
Distracted driving campaigns usually center around eating, texting and talking behind the wheel — but what about your young passengers? An Australian study says children may be taking your eyes off the road the most. Pulling squabbling siblings apart, calming fussy babies and even picking up dropped toys are taking parents' eyes away from the road, the study suggests. According to the study, children are 12 times more distracting to drivers than cellphones, with the average parent taking their eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip. The Canadian Automobile Association said statistics in Ontario show children are four times more distracting than cellphones. To see the full article, go to: www.680news.com/.
(Source for these abstracts: Network of Employers for Traffic Safety newsletter, April 15, 2013)