Pedestrian Safety

Promote Safety of Pedestrian in Montgomery County

Friday, April 12, 2013

Street Smart Safety Zone Events Promote Pedestrian Safety in Montgomery County

StreetSmart campaign promotes pedestrian safety

As part of the Spring StreetSmart campaign, three Safety Zone events were held in Montgomery County to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Events in Montgomery County were held at the following times/locations:

Tuesday, 4/16 from 4:00 to 6:00pm with WIAD 94.7 Fresh FM:
Hillandale Shopping Center at New Hampshire Ave. and Powder Mill Rd., Hillandale, MD
Wednesday, 4/17 from 4:00 to 6:00pm  with WPGC 95.5:
Near Starbucks at Market St. and Center Point Way in Kentlands Shopping Center, Gaithersburg, MD
Wednesday, 4/24 from 4:00 to 6:00pm with WLZL 107.9 El Zol:
Wheaton Triangle at Reedie Dr. & Georgia Ave., Wheaton-Glenmont, MD
Pedestrians were reminded to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal, while divers were reminded to slow down and watch for pedestrians. Learn more about the Street Smart campaign at
CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 10:30:00 AM |

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Coordinated Approach to Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement Efforts at Seneca Valley High School

Pedestrian Safety assembly at Seneca Valley High School

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:

Read aticles on the Seneca Valley HS Pedestrian Safety Campaign:


Germantown Patch

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Station 22 Distributing Reflective Materials to Students at Seneca Valley High School

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Station 22 Distributing Pedestrian Safety Materials to Seneca Valley High School Students

Pedestrian Safety Champions

Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen with Derrick Gilliam (MCPS Security) and pedestrian safety Champions Ellyn Terry and Ruthanne Stoltzfus

CATEGORIES: Education , Enforcement , Events , Safe Routes to School
POSTED: 3:49:00 PM |

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pedestrian Safety Volunteers Make Wheaton Area Safer

A group of pedestrian safety volunteers hand out materials at the Salvadoran Festival in Wheaton

Volunteers conduct outreach while staffing a booth at a local festival

A group of community volunteers are making a real difference in the Wheaton area as they help to spread the word about pedestrian safety. The community members represent neighborhood civic associations including Connecticut Avenue Estates, Montclair Manor, and Rock Creek Palisades, as well as the Hispanic/Latino community.

With help from MCDOT, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Fire and Rescue Service, in coordination with the Maryland Highway Safety Office, community volunteers have been participating in outreach efforts such as fairs, festivals and community meetings. They talk to pedestrians on the street and visiting community events and distribute reusable bags containing pedestrian safety information.

A YouTube video highlights some of their activities over the last few months. If you would like to volunteer, contact Joana Conklin with MCDOT's pedestrian safety program at 240.777.7195 or by email.

CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 11:55:00 AM |

Friday, March 22, 2013

School Pedestrian Safety Training Underway


MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator recently gave a pedestrian safety presentation to 120 middle school student leaders from 22 County schools.

The Coordinator created an “It’s Academic”-style game to both entertain and educate the students. Questions on pedestrian safety statistics and safe walking tips included, “If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 mph, what is the chance they will survive?” The team with the most points received wearable blinking lights as a prize. As hoped, the game was engaging, with the students enthusiastically talking amongst themselves about the answers.

Another training activity underway is Train the Trainer sessions, where high school students learn how to teach elementary kids to walk safely. These programs are especially important due to the recent return to daylight savings time. Now, more students are walking in darkness during the early morning hours, so stay alert!

For more information, see the County's press release and visit MCDOT's revamped pedestrian safety website. You can also call our Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Nadji Kirby, at 240.777.7169 or email her.

CATEGORIES: Education , Safe Routes to School , Programs , Events
POSTED: 2:19:00 PM |

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Leggett Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of His Pedestrian Safety Initiative; Efforts are Reducing Collisions and Saving Lives

Event to celebrate five-year anniversary of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's Pedestrian Safety Initiative

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.

 Graphic showing results of County Executive Leggett's Pedestrian Safety Initiative

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:


The Gazette


Bethesda Now

Monday, November 19, 2012

Leggett, Manger, Bowers Announce Campaigns to Keep Residents Safe This Holiday Season

“Eyes” Campaign and “Shop With a Cop” Promote Safety for Pedestrians, Drivers and Shoppers

Photo of "Best Eyes" press event participantsOn November 20, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, and Fire Chief Richard Bowers launched two public education campaigns to improve public safety – both focused on looking out for each other during the busy holiday shopping season. 

The seasonal change back to standard time is typically associated with an uptick in pedestrian collisions.   A new Montgomery County Department of Transportation pedestrian safety campaign focuses attention on one of the most important factors in reducing crashes – visibility – by featuring ads that show the eyes of two County students with the slogan, “Hey You, I’m Looking at You.”  
Police also announced their annual “Shop With a Cop” promotion, where officers in all six of Montgomery County’s police districts patrol retail areas during the height of the shopping season to provide extra security and remind shoppers to drive and walk safe -- especially in parking lots.
Joining Leggett, Manger, and Bowers were Montgomery Blair High School Principal Renay Johnson and the parents of John Parsley, whose eyes are featured in one of the ads. Parsley graduated from Montgomery Blair High School last year.
For additional articles on the event, please click the links below:
CATEGORIES: Programs , Education , Events
POSTED: 3:03:00 PM |

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pedestrian Safety Volunteers March in Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade


Photo of pedestrian safety volunteer team and Silver Spring Fire Rescue ambulance at 2012 Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade

Montgomery County’s Pedestrian Safety Volunteers – the “Protectores del Camino” and “SWAG Team” – joined forces with Montgomery County Fire Rescue at the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade on November 17 to keep pedestrians safe.  The County is working to improve pedestrian safety and the walkability of our communities.  400 pedestrians aPhoto of volunteers handing out reflective materials to the crowd at the 2012 Thanksgiving Paradere struck by vehicles each year in Montgomery County, and this time of year is the most dangerous for pedestrians since there are so many dark hours per day.  For this reason, volunteers handed out reflective zipper pulls to the crowd - as a reminder to wear bright or reflective clothing during dark hours so drivers can see you.  When accidents occur in Silver Spring, Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department rescue vehicles, like the one driven in the parade by Firefighter/EMT Darian Unger, rush to help.  Banners were posted on the ambulance warning parade goers, "Let's not meet by accident.  Keep Pedestrians Safe.  Be Safe.  Be Seen."  It's far better to have careful drivers and thoughtful pedestrians to help avoid collisions in the first place.  Slow down...share the road...think about a life. 

CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 1:02:00 PM |

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pedestrian Safety Volunteer Brigade Helps Make Montgomery County Safer for Pedestrians

Over the past several months, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Police Department (MCPD), in coordination with the Maryland El Savadoran Festival PhotographHighway Safety Office (MHSO), have been working with several members of the Wheaton community who are interested in participating in pedestrian safety outreach efforts.

The community members represent neighborhood civic associations (Connecticut Avenue Estates, Montclair Manor, Rock Creek Palisades), as well as representatives from the Hispanic/Latino community. They have aptly named themselves the “SWAG Team” and the “Protectores del Camino”.

Recently, the volunteer group came together to distribute information at the annual Taste of Wheaton, Salvadoran-American, and World of Montgomery Festivals, as well as the Kensington Labor Day Parade. The events drew thousands of community members, and offered a terrific opportunity to get the word out about pedestrian safety. The bilingual group of volunteers distributed over 4,000 bright yellow bags with the message, “I’m Walking Here! Be Safe. Be Seen”, and an equal number of bilingual Pedestrian Safety Tips brochures.

Taste of Wheaton Festival photographThe group continues to grow, and we encourage you to get involved! Our next event will be the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade on November 17 in Downtown Silver Spring.  Look out for our volunteers and come to the parade to get some great reflective hand-outs!  If you would like to volunteer with our group, please contact Joana Conklin:

Click here to see a video of some of our volunteer outreach events!

CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 3:33:00 PM |

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MCDOT Urges Caution as Halloween and Time Change Ushers in "Scary Season" for Pedestrians and Drivers

Montgomery County Best Eyes Campaign

County Launches "Eyes" Campaign to Reinforce "See and Be Seen" Message

This week, Halloween and the change back to standard time mark the start of the “scary season” for pedestrians and drivers, when an uptick in pedestrian collisions is typical.   According to a recent report released by State Farm, children are more than twice as likely to be fatally injured by a vehicle on Halloween.


The County has launched a new pedestrian safety public education campaign picturing eyes and the slogan, "Hey You, I'm Looking at You."  The education campaign focuses attention on one of the most important factors in reducing crashes – visibility.  The campaign was developed by Montgomery Blair High School students participating in the Blair Walk Project in an effort to reduce pedestrian collisions.  The new "Eyes" posters will be appearing on Ride On buses throughout the County in the coming weeks. 




CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 6:11:00 PM |

Friday, October 05, 2012

Walk to School Day 2012

Picture of kids at Walk to School Day 2012

Montgomery County Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Craig Rice; Department of Transportation Director Art Holmes, Fire Chief Richard Bowers, local officials and other dignitaries joined Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School students, staff and parents celebrating International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 3rd.  Over 40 other schools across the county celebrated the day with various activities.

Also joining the walkers at Dr. Charles Drew were Montgomery County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent for the Office of Teaching, Learning and Programs Dr. Kimberly A. Statham; Principal Gail Scott-Parizer and Assistant Principal Emmanuel Jean-Philippe.

Following the walk, AAA Mid-Atlantic sponsored two assemblies featuring the robot Otto the Auto, who taught children safe walking tips.

Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools throughout the United States and 40 countries around the world.Group photo Walk to School Day 2012 Walking to school helps promote: 
• Healthier students            
• Safer streets 
• Stronger communities      
• A cleaner environment

Sponsors of this year’s event at Drew Elementary School include Safe Kids Montgomery County, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Foundation for Safety and Education, Federal Express, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Montgomery County Police, Maryland Safe Routes Network, Maryland Highway Safety Office, Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Clif Kid.

CATEGORIES: Safe Routes to School , Education , Events , Programs
POSTED: 11:04:00 AM |

Friday, July 20, 2012

Community Groups Dedicate New Pedestrian Signal at Veirs Mill Road and Claridge Road

Over the past several months, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Police Department (MCPD), in coordination with the MVeirs Mill and Claridge Signal Dedication Eventaryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO), have been working with several members of the Wheaton community who are interested in participating in pedestrian safety outreach efforts.

The community members represent neighborhood civic associations (Connecticut Avenue Estates, Montclair Manor, Rock Creek Palisades), as well as representatives from the Hispanic/Latino community. The three neighborhood civic associations organized a public/press event on July 20 to commemorate activation of the new traffic signal at Veirs Mill Road and Claridge Road. In attendance were County Councilmembers Ervin, Navarro, and Floreen; State Delegates Carr and Gutierrez; as well as County Officials, Father Salah from St. Catherine Labouré Church, and members of the community. Click here to view news coverage of the event.

Volunteers handing out pedestrian safety bags to parishioners at St. Catherine's ChurchThe community members then took the opportunity to distribute pedestrian safety information to St. Catherine Labouré parishioners the weekend immediately following activation of the new signal. The outreach effort was initiated by the community groups, and is an indication of the potential for this group to successfully reach thousands of members of the walking and driving public in an effort to educate them about keeping pedestrians safe.

CATEGORIES: Engineering , Events
POSTED: 3:36:00 PM |

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Silver Spring Students Make Street Smarts Cool - Maryland Community News - May 2, 2012

To keep their fellow classmates safe and street smart, a group of Montgomery Blair High School students are using words they say adults do not fully understand.

To get hit by a bus is a “fail,” they said, but to use a crosswalk, that is “swag.”

It’s a public safety campaign that neither the county — nor any adults — could have thought of, according to Jeff Dunckel, pedestrian safety coordinator of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. Read More

CATEGORIES: Education , Events
POSTED: 11:04:00 AM |

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike to Work Day 2011

Bike to Work Day Logo 2011

Bike to Work Day was held on May 20, 2011. Thousands of area commuters celebrated bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work!

CATEGORIES: Bicycle Safety , Events
POSTED: 2:06:00 PM |

Friday, February 04, 2011

Pedestrian Safety at the Maryland Municipal League (MML) Annual Convention

Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, presenting at MML Annual Convention

The MML Conference provided another chance to tell others about the County's Pedestrian Safety Programs. Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, and Tom Pogue, Community Outreach Manager were among the hundreds of city and town officials from throughout Maryland who gathered at the Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland to learn about and discuss municipal issues. They spoke with over 400 fellow city and town officials, discussing pedestrian safety in Montgomery County.

CATEGORIES: Events , Program Overview
POSTED: 2:55:00 PM |

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pedestrian Safety Featured at MACo Convention

Jeff Dunckel and Tom Pogue of MCDOT staffed the Montgomery County display at the Maryland Association of Counties ( MACo) Convention in Ocean City, Maryland last August. More than 600 attendees visited the display to learn how Montgomery County is improving pedestrian safety. This year, County Executive Leggett chose the County's Pedestrian Safety Program as the featured topic for Montgomery County to highlight. This annual conference draws thousands of local, state and federal government officials.

photo of Jeff Dunckel and Tom Pogue set up the County's display, featuring Pedestrians Safety, where more than 600 people stopped to discuss and learn about the County's program.

CATEGORIES: Events , Program Overview
POSTED: 10:38:00 AM |

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Street Smart 2010 Kick-off Makes Big Impact

Street Smart kicked off its 2010 Safety Awareness Campaign on Thursday, March 23, with a “Speed Kills” Demonstration.  This very successful event was held at the intersection of Sligo Avenue and Chicago Avenue, in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The demonstration graphically displayed how speeding eliminates the ability of drivers to avoid pedestrian collisions - - how driving the speed limit can save lives.  The key message to be remembered from the demonstration is: Speed Kills - - obeying speed limits is a life-or-death obligation for all drivers.  The consequences if you don’t can be truly horrific.  To see a video displaying this demonstration, go to the website:

This 2010 Safety Awareness Campaign will continue through April, 2010. See Campaign Background Materials:

“Bobby,”  a mannequin the size of a 10-year-old child, is about to experience first hand the violence of a pedestrian collision.  “Bobby” and his friend ponder the hazards of crossing the street in heavy traffic.

County Executive Leggett begins the demonstration with an explanation of why pedestrian and bicycle safety is so important for Montgomery County, and the entire region.  Joining Mr. Leggett, from left to right, are Chief Jeri Lee, Metro Transit Police; Councilmember David Snyder, City of Falls Church; Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Police Department; and Gloria Jeff, Associate Director of District of Columbia Department of Transportation.

After demonstrating at 25 mph the pickup can stop 10 feet short of pedestrian “Bobby,” when the pickup’s speed increases to 35 mph, “Bobby” is not so lucky - - he is about to be hit hard.  Stopping distance doubles as speed increases just 10 mph.

Jeff Dunckel, Montgomery County’s Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, describes the effects of crashing into “Bobby” at 35 mph - - nearly half the pedestrians hit at this speed die.  The other half are injured, many seriously.


Next, “Bobby” steps in front the pickup traveling 40 mph.  At 40 mph, the driver has virtually no time to react.  The vehicle requires 60 feet to stop.  Factor in reaction time, that stopping distance grows to 300 feet.  Bobby is violently catapulted before the vehicle.

The grim faces of those who watch communicate how horrific a collision at 40 mph can be.  The violence of the collision can only be experienced when you see it.  Thankfully, the victim is only a mannequin and not a real 10-year old child.  But everyone can imagine a more tragic reality

Jeff Dunckel explains that at 40 mph, crash victims are often knocked right out of their shoes; Dunckel draws the crowd’s attention to the shoe still lodged under the vehicle and “Bobby’s” belongings spewed across the pavement.

Struck by a pickup traveling 40 mph, “Bobby” lies on the pavement 20 feet in front of where the vehicle stops - -  mangled, contorted, and badly broken.  Eighty-five percent of pedestrians struck at 40 mph die; fifteen percent are badly injured, usually with life debilitating injuries.  The chances of a pedestrian walking away from such a collision are zero.

Remember - Speed Kills. Slow Down.

Obey Speed Limits. Stay Alert. 


CATEGORIES: Events , Education
POSTED: 10:07:00 AM |

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Promotes Pedestrian Safety

Santa with Kids

Santa driving

Making a special appearance in the Takoma/Langley crossroads, Santa Claus himself arrived Tuesday afternoon to the busy commercial district to hand out candy canes, greet children and pass out literature on pedestrian safety.

Santa in the Crosswalks Articles & Photos

CATEGORIES: Events , Education
POSTED: 10:29:00 AM |

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leggett Launches Pedestrian Safety Promotion Teams Along Piney Branch Road Corridor; Area Has Highest Number of Pedestrian Collisions in County

Picture of Piney Branch Safety Promotion Teams

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced the launch of pedestrian safety promotion teams that will intercept pedestrians who are engaged in risky behaviors and provide them with information about safe walking practices. This effort along Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and the Prince Georges County line is part of the County’s overall strategy to make pedestrian safety improvements where the most pedestrian collisions in the County occur. The education initiative also includes ads at local movie theaters and on Ride On buses and bus shelters.

Press Release.

CATEGORIES: Events , Education
POSTED: 9:41:00 AM |

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Leggett Announces Completion of Pedestrian Protection Project to Improve Safety on Arcola Avenue

Picture of Mr. Leggett making announcement

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (left) talks about pedestrian safety improvements made to Arcola Avenue in Wheaton to slow traffic and make it safer to cross the street.  Joining Leggett were the County’s Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel (middle) and Delegate Roger Manno (D-19), who represents the Wheaton area.  See Press Release for more info.

CATEGORIES: Events , Engineering
POSTED: 10:52:00 AM |