Monday, February 24, 2014

Enforcement is an important component of improving pedestrian safety

Montgomery County Police ticketing a driver who did not yield to a pedestrian

MCDOT continues to invest in engineering improvements and educational outreach to enhance pedestrian safety – particularly in high crash areas where collision data show more pedestrians are being struck. In addition, County Police evaluate pedestrian crash types, locations, and victims to plan enforcement. In 2011 and 2012, pedestrian enforcement focused primarily on ticketing pedestrians who were not following the law (i.e. crossing against pedestrian signals and in illegal midblock locations).  In 2013, there was a shift to driver education and ticketing - over 1,200 citations were issued and approximately half of these were driver citations. 

In 2014, the focus of police pedestrian safety enforcement continues to be on driver education and ticketing, with police conducting a series of "crosswalk stings" at areas around the County. During these stings, a plainclothes police officer legally enters a crosswalk.  When drivers fail to yield to the pedestrian, they are pulled over and ticketed.  Pedestrians will also continue to be cited when unlawful crossing is observed. 

Preliminary data from 2013 indicate pedestrian crashes occurred at a slightly higher rate than in the previous year, and pedestrian fatalities almost doubled.  Therefore, we urge everyone to stay alert and watch out for each other. Drivers must follow the laws for yielding to pedestrian right-of-way. Pedestrians must help protect their safety by always giving their undivided attention when crossing the street.

These efforts are part of County Executive Leggett’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative. For more information, go to MCDOT's pedestrian safety website.

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