During the months of April and May, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) will be focusing enforcement efforts on pedestrian safety. MCPD will be conducting a number of operations at locations with marked crosswalks and areas that have been identified as pedestrian High Incidence Areas (HIAs) – areas with more pedestrian collisions. Police will be issuing citations to both drivers and pedestrians who are breaking the law.
Particular attention will be paid to the following HIAs:
- Connecticut Avenue between Independence Street and Georgia Avenue (Aspen Hill)
- Randolph Road between Selfridge Road and Colie Drive (Wheaton)
- Four Corners (Silver Spring)
- Rockville Pike between Halpine Drive and Hubbard Road (Rockville)
- Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue (Silver Spring)
In addition to these HIAs, MCPD will focus pedestrian enforcement actions on other crosswalk locations around the County where driver compliance with pedestrian safety laws has been an issue, including:
- Veirs Mill Road at Turkey Branch Parkway (Aspen Hill)
- Bel Pre Road between Georgia Avenue and Layhill Road (Aspen Hill)
- Democracy Boulevard between Old Georgetown Road and Bells Mill Road (Bethesda)
- Arlington Road between Elm Street and Old Georgetown Road (Bethesda)
- Muddy Branch Road between Suffield Drive and Diamondback Drive (Gaithersburg)
- Aircraft Drive between Century Boulevard and Germantown Road at the Germantown Transit Center (Germantown)
- Middlebrook Road at Great Seneca Highway (Germantown)
- Lost Knife Road between Odendhal Ave and Contour Rd at the Lake Forest Transit Center (Montgomery Village)
- Wooton Parkway near Wooton High School (Rockville)
- Spring Street at First Avenue (Silver Spring)
- University Boulevard at Reedie Drive (Wheaton – Glenmont)
- Randolph Road at Livingston Street (Wheaton – Glenmont)
- Randolph Road at Bluhill Road (Wheaton – Glenmont)
In Montgomery County, more than 400 pedestrians are struck by vehicles each year. Many of these collisions could be avoided if drivers and pedestrians obeyed the law and were more aware.
The Montgomery County Police Department takes a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of pedestrians. The department’s Traffic Unit routinely conducts pedestrian safety operations throughout the County to enforce traffic laws. The SafeSpeed and red light camera programs serve to improve the safety of pedestrians by slowing down traffic and reducing the number of vehicles running red lights.
Drivers and pedestrians have equal responsibilities in reducing pedestrian-involved collisions. Drivers should take extra caution when approaching crosswalks. Look for pedestrians near the crosswalk and prepare to yield when they enter the crosswalk. When driving in a residential area, or near a school zone, scan ahead for pedestrian traffic, especially for children, who may suddenly run out into the roadway. Extra caution should apply in the evening hours. Pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks when crossing a busy roadway. Assume that drivers can’t see you until you have made eye contact. Once in the crosswalk continue to scan for traffic in each lane of traffic. When in doubt, yield to vehicle traffic – pedestrians are the ones who are injured in a collision.
Below are tips for drivers and pedestrians on keeping pedestrians safe:
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections- it’s the law.
- Don’t block crosswalks when stopping at intersections.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
- Take extra care around schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods.
- Always look out for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a “right turn on red.”
- Obey speed limits, signs, signals, and markings – and never run red lights.
- Be careful when passing stopped vehicles. They might be stopping for pedestrians.
- When passing bicyclists, allow three feet between them and your vehicle.
- Share the road. It’s your responsibility to look out for others.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and signalized intersections whenever possible.
- Stop and look every time before crossing streets, even when you have the right-of-way, and especially at intersections with “right turn on red.”
- Before crossing, look left, right, then left again, and over your shoulder for turning vehicles.
- Begin crossing the street on “Walk” signals – never on a solid or flashing “Don’t Walk.”
- Use pedestrian push buttons to activate/extend the walk signal.
- Use sidewalks. If there are none, walk facing traffic so you see vehicles and drivers see you.
- Make eye contact with drivers so they see you. Never assume they do.
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather with bright colored or reflective clothing.