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Cops In Bethesda To Ramp Up Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

by Aaron Kraut — April 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm 396 10 Comments

Crosswalk at Wisconsin Avenue and Stanford Street

After a recent series of high profile pedestrian accidents in Bethesda, Montgomery County Police in the 2nd District will conduct a pedestrian safety program targeting drivers who don’t obey traffic laws starting next week.

Bethesda Transportation Solutions shared the announcement from 2nd District Police Commander Capt. Dave Falcinelli via its Facebook page this afternoon:

The Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Initiative will occur between April 15-30.

Officers will be conducting enforcement of pedestrian laws at various intersections/crosswalks in the Bethesda area.

This is a comprehensive program targeting drivers, especially those that fail to stop and yield before turning right on red and those that fail to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.

Pedestrians and cyclists violating their rules of the road will also be stopped.

Please stay off the phone and pay attention to your driving, especially in the downtown areas.

The targeted enforcement comes a day after a group of Bethesda Elementary School parents began on online petition for more pedestrian safety efforts around the Arlington Road school. The parents started the petition because of a Feb. 27 incident in which a three-month old child in a stroller was hit and dragged from a crosswalk on Arlington Road. The child was not injured.

In March, two police-reported pedestrian collisions in the span of 26 hours left some transit advocates unsatisfied with the county’s initial response. Bethesda resident and Action Committee for Transit member Ben Ross said Montgomery County Police released pedestrian safety tips that seemed to blame the pedestrians instead of drivers who Ross said hadn’t obeyed traffic laws.

  • Permanent Pedestrian

    Drivers who are doing the right thing by stopping – are also at risk.
    While I was stopped for a pedestrian at a striped crosswalk last week,
    my car was violently rear-ended and totaled. The only solution here in
    Carthesda, are stoplights. This campaign is only a band-aid and people
    will continue to get hurt after the safety initiative is over. Also,
    the title of the campaign, “Street Smart Pedestrian” is offensive. It
    implies that somehow the responsibility lies mainly with the pedestrian
    and not the drivers.

    • HailToTheRedskins

      When I moved to ‘Carthesda’ I could not believe how aggressively cars drove, and I had lived in Moscow at one point.

      “Responsible drivers.”

      “Driving courteously.”

      Stop lights.
      Ticketing drivers.
      Rumble strips.

      • x.jones

        agree.

  • HailToTheRedskins

    The Trader Joe’s crossing is pedestrian polo. Drivers refuse to stop when pedestrians are in the crosswalk and the drivers are speeding up to a red light. It’s really dangerous.

  • E. Jones

    Pedestrians are getting hit because of the ridiculous law that cars have to stop at crosswalks. This has made pedestrians think that they can just walk through a street and the world around them will come to a stop. Before the idiotic law, pedestrians looked both ways first. Now they think the government will protect them. It’s sad.

    • x. jones

      Yes and lets get rid of those ridiculous laws that require cars to stop at red lights too. If drivers can’t look both ways when they get to an intersection then they deserve to get into an accident. Its another step that moves us closer to the Hobbesian libertarian utopia.

    • Bethesda Walker

      Since you’re obviously not familiar with the average pedestrian, you don’t realize that most of them do look both ways. However they assume that the car in the distance will come to a stop, as required by law. One of government’s functions is to uphold the law, regardless of whether certain individuals find it inconvenient.

    • BeverlyS

      I’m not sure you walk enough to make such a generalized statement. In the first place, many of us pedestrians DO look both ways ALL the time, and in really busy intersections, we wait, wait, wait, and wait some more for someone nice enough to stop. It’s ludicrous. If I didn’t run across the street after looking both ways, I’d never, ever get to work because drivers in this town, like you, are so entitled, that thinking about another person having to get anywhere on their silly two feet makes them less important. I have to get into the crosswalk at some point, and making that decision every day about when is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous.

    • rorojo

      These newfangled seat belt laws as well. Back in my day a man’s hard work and determination held him and his family in their car not big brother safety laws.

  • HailToTheRedskins

    The Pedestrian Crossing sign on the west sidewalk of this intersection got mowed down by a car yesterday!!!!

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