Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Lorna Virgilí hosts "Montgomery al Día", Montgomery County's Spanish language live Radio Show on Radio América 1540 AM, Tuesdays at 2pm. On this show, she speaks with Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, from the Department of Transportation. The show addresses pedestrian safety issues around the County, including the recent uptick in pedestrian collisions and fatalities and how residents can stay safe when walking. To see the episode, click here.
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.
To view the Transportation Update on the enforcement efforts, click here.
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, April 11, 2013
Jeff Dunckel (MCDOT) and Captain Thomas Didone (MCPD) address students at Seneca Valley High School about pedestrian safety
The morning of April 11 marked the beginning of a pedestrian safety education and enforcement campaign at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. The campaign kicked off with a student assembly featuring Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen, Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone, and Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel. Mrs. Gwendolyn Ward, mother of Christina Morris-Ward, a 15-year old Seneca Valley student who was tragically killed crossing Germantown Road this past Halloween morning, also spoke to the crowd of more than 1,200 high school students about the potentially life-threatening consequences of not obeying pedestrian safety laws. The assembly also featured a 10-minute Public Safety Announcement produced by students at the high school, which highlighted the importance of being a safe pedestrian and driver.
Over the next week and a half a team of pedestrian safety Champions, comprised of parents and members of the community, as well as representatives from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, were out on the streets talking to the high school students about crossing safely and handing out reflective materials. The Champions reminded pedestrians to practice the following safe behaviors:
· Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections
· Look left, right, left, and over their shoulder for turning vehicles when crossing the street
· Begin crossing the street on the "walk" signal
· Stay visible after dark
· Make eye contact with drivers
· Stop texting and talking on the cell and remove earphones
Following the education campaign, police were out on the streets around the high school issuing citations to pedestrians and drivers who did not obey the law. Pedestrians were fined $50 for crossing outside of a crosswalk if both adjacent intersections have traffic signals, or starting to cross at a signalized intersection if the pedestrian signal is red or flashing red. Drivers were fined $80 for not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The purpose of the education and enforcement campaign is to inform the students about crossing safely so that future tragedies can be avoided. The campaign will encourage students to BE SAFE, BE SEEN, and BE STREET SMART.
The pedestrian safety Champions plan to continue efforts at the school next year. If you would like to partcipate as a Champion in this campaign, please contact Ruthanne Stoltzfus: email@example.com.
Read aticles on the Seneca Valley HS Pedestrian Safety Campaign:
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Station 22 Distributing Pedestrian Safety Materials to Seneca Valley High School Students
Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen with Derrick Gilliam (MCPS Security) and pedestrian safety Champions Ellyn Terry and Ruthanne Stoltzfus
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School program just wrapped up one of its two-year grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. It promotes the 3 E’s – Engineering, Education, and Enforcement – at schools. Read More
Monday, February 04, 2013
In a newly released study, researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that red-light running rates declined at Arlington County, Va. intersections equipped with red-light cameras. The decreases were particularly large for the most dangerous violations -- those happening 1.5 seconds or longer after the light turned red.
The number of U.S. communities using red-light cameras has grown to about 540, IIHS said. Though some cities, including Los Angeles, have opted to suspend their red-light camera program, others, including Fort Lauderdale, are considering expansion. The safety benefits of reducing red-light running violations are considerable. In 2010, 673 people were killed and an estimated 122,000 were injured in crashes involving a motorist running a red light, IIHS said.
To see the full article, go to Automotive Fleet Magazine's website.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
On December 17, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett celebrated the five-year anniversary of his December 2007 Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which for the first time provided a blueprint for action to improve pedestrian safety based on measurable strategies. Since 2009, pedestrian collisions have decreased 12 percent and the most severe collisions, those where pedestrians are incapacitated or killed, has declined 21 percent.
“In 2007, we charted a course to dramatically improve pedestrian safety and accessibility in Montgomery County – a course that is proving to be successful,” said Leggett. “We are seeing significant reductions in pedestrian collisions in areas where we have taken a comprehensive and targeted approach. Every resident deserves a truly walkable community where pedestrians can safely cross the street. Our challenge in the future is to continually reassess what we are doing, keep what’s working well and find new and creative ways to significantly expand our pedestrian safety efforts.”
The Initiative outlined an approach to pedestrian and traffic safety that focused on three essential components: education, engineering and enforcement. The Initiative significantly enhanced the County’s investment in educating motorists and pedestrians, keeping enforcement efforts visible and intensive and aggressively applying the most innovative and pedestrian-friendly road engineering designs.
To fulfill Leggett’s vision for increased pedestrian mobility and safety, the Initiative established goals to:
• Reduce pedestrian-related crashes, injuries, fatalities, and their associated social and economic costs; and
• Ensure that all areas of the County provide safe and convenient travel options for pedestrians.
Some of the achievements of the Initiative include:
• Reducing pedestrian fatalities from a high of 19 fatalities in 2008 to 11 last year and six so far this year.
• Reducing pedestrian collisions 12 percent since 2009.
• Reducing the most severe collisions that incapacitate or kill pedestrians 21 percent since 2009.
• Reducing collisions 35 percent in areas where traffic calming measures have been installed.
• Reducing collisions by 45 percent In High Incidence Areas (HIAs), locations with the highest concentrations of collisions.
• Reducing collisions by 72 percent within a quarter mile of schools targeted for engineering, education and enforcement activities under the Safe Routes to Schools program.
Mr. Leggett was joined at the event by County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, County Councilmember Hans Riemer, Department of Transportation Director Arthur Holmes, Police Chief Thomas Manger, Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Graham, and PBTSAC Chair Erwin Mack.
Click here for the press release, including additional statistics on the results of the initiative. Click here to view the Transportation Update on the event.
For articles about the event, please click below: