Thursday, November 21, 2013

Heads Up in Parking Lots: Don’t run over people. Don’t get run over.

In 2012, there were 423 reported pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County. Of these collisions, 125, or about 30 percent, occurred in parking lots and garages – a 39 percent increase in one year and the third consecutive year that collisions in parking lots increased. What’s worse, nearly 20 percent of these collisions resulted in devastating injuries - about the same as occurred in countywide road collisions.

What Are We Doing About It?

Montgomery County is getting the word out to the public about pedestrian collisions in parking lots. Most people are very surprised to learn just how widespread these collisions are and how many of them cause severe injuries. We hope that educating both drivers and pedestrians can help change their attitudes and behaviors in parking lots.

How You Can Help

  • Practice safe walking and driving in parking lots and garages – Safety Tips (English - pdf | EspaƱol - pdf).
  • Use social media and ask your friends to join the conversation about ways to stay safe.
  • Spread the word to your civic association, business group, school community, religious organization, etc.
To see more resources on parking lot safety, visit the Heads Up webpage.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bicyclists Parking at Metro Urged to Register Their Bikes

Metro Transit Police offer a free online registration service for bike riders who park their bikes at Metro facilities. Providing the make, model, serial number, color and frame size of the bike will assist Transit Police in identifying and recovering a bicycle if it is stolen or lost.

Police urge riders to practice basic security measures, such as locking their bike to an authorized rack (not a sign post or fence), keeping a copy of the bike’s serial number on hand, and hiding a business or index card with the owner’s name and phone number inside the bike frame.

To register your bicycle with Metro, visit their website.

Study: More Older Drivers Distracted by Smartphones

While younger people remain the undisputed champions of distracted driving, older drivers may be catching up, according to a report issued last week. State Farm Insurance's annual distracted driving survey cites a "growing safety concern" -- a sharp increase in smartphone ownership by drivers 30 and older. And while states have focused on banning texting while driving, and in some cases have also banned hand-held cell phone use, another distractive behavior is filling the void. The percentage of drivers who said they use their phone to access the Internet while driving has nearly doubled, from 13% in 2009 to 24% in this year's survey.

The number of drivers between ages 30 and 39 who own smartphones has gone from 60% to 86% in the past two years, matching the percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds who own them, according to the survey. Big increases also are found in older age ranges: smartphone ownership among 40- to 49-year-olds grew from 47% in 2011 to 82% this year; among those 50 to 64 the percentage rose from 44% to 64%.

(Source: The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, November 13, 2013, as cited in the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety eNewsletter, 11/19/2013.)