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: BeStreetSmart.net.
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. 


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