Friday, June 14, 2013

Montgomery County Implements "Tired Faces" Campaign: Warns Motorists, Pedestrians and Bicyclists to Exercise Caution

Pedestrians Don't Come with Airbags...Yield to Pedestrians When Turning
Dramatic Ads Offer Safety Tips, Promote Increased Traffic Safety Vigilance
Like millions of others in the area, most days Stephen Grasty walks walks several blocks a day-to work, to a Metro stop, to a friend's house. Though he has had his share of close calls, he has never been hit by a car and he would like to keep it that way. Stephen's face-- symbolically blemished by a tire tread-- will soon be appearing in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' new public awareness for safety campaign urging drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to look out for each other. 

The Penalties for Jaywalking VaryThe StreetSmart campaign offers safety tips to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries in the DC metro area. The campaign began the second week of April in the wake of recent pedestrian crashes that left a 71 year old woman dead in the 1100 block of Florida Avenue and at least 12 other pedestrians in crashes in the Washington metropolitan region in 2013 to date. "Most people do not stop to think how vulnerable pedestrians are on our streets and sidewalks," said District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray. "But the reality is that we must protect pedestrians from cars and other vehicles, because when they collide with a pedestrian, the pedestrian never wins."
StreetSmart RideOn Bus Advertisement

The "tired faces" visuals call attention to the dangers confronting pedestrians and bicyclists with the larger than life faces of area residents on ads on buses and in transit shelters in the District, Virginia, and Maryland. In Montgomery County, the bilingual ads were placed in 80 transit shelters and on 72 buses, including two "King Kong" full bus ads. State and local officials want drivers to actively watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially when turning. They also are reminding bicyclists to ride with traffic and stop at red lights and urging pedestrians to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal before crossing the street. In 2012, preliminary data indicates that there were 3,033 crashes in the D.C. metropolitan region involving pedestrians and bicyclists, which resulted in 70 fatalities. On average, pedestrians and bicyclists account for 30 of all traffic fatalities in the Washington region. 

During the StreetSmart campaign, which ran through May 13, law enforcement officers in Montgomery County 
were watching for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists who violated traffic safety laws. Drivers and cyclists who failed to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as pedestrians who jaywalked could face fines that range from $50 to $500. Drivers are also subject to getting points on their driver records. 

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:
Wheaton Safety Zone Event
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 Also, see Montgomery County's Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, Jeff Dunckel, interviewed about the campaign on NBC's "Viewpoint" and Montgomery al Día.  Click here to hear Mr. Dunckel's interview on WPGC's "Community Focus" radio show.  

Information on the new campaign and the StreetSmart public education program can be found at

StreetSmart Press Release in Spanish 
Jurisdicational Fact Sheet 
StreetSmart Campaign Quick Fact Sheet   

Univision Interviewing Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, Jeff Dunckel, about the new StreetSmart campaign
Univision interviewing Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel about the new StreetSmart campaign
News Articles about the StreetSmart Campaign 
The Washington Times 
News Channel 8's "NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt"
WFDC-TV (Univision) 
WTTG-TV (Fox) 
WTOP Radio
Fairfax Daily Monitor 
Washington Post 1 
Clarendon Patch 
Alexandria News 
The Gazette  
Montgomery County Sentinel 

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