Area officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia launched the COG-sponsored Street Smart campaign and reaffirmed their dedication pedestrian safety during a press conference in Alexandria this morning.
Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connolly, Arlington Board Chair Chris Zimmerman, Alexandria Mayor William Euille, Alexandria Councilman Ludwig Gaines, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey and other leaders voiced their support for Street Smart’s outreach and enforcement efforts and outlined initiatives in their local jurisdictions to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths and injuries on our region’s roads.
According to statistics from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, pedestrians account for one fourth of the region’s motor vehicle deaths, approximately 89 fatalities a year. In addition, a recent study in Sepetember 2005 by Inova Regional Trauma Center and COG shows the responsibility for pedestrian accidents appears shared, almost equally, between drivers and pedestrians.
The Street Smart pedestrian safety effort focuses on “three E’s:” education, engineering, and enforcement. The education component of the campaign targets pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and includes information about devices designed to enhance pedestrian safety, such as the use of crosswalks, pedestrian warning signs, pedestrian signals and reflective materials for nighttime safety. A strong focus of the campaign is reaching the Hispanic audience through Spanish-language brochures and advertising outreach.
A stepped-up, region-wide enforcement initiative will complement the education/awareness blitz and engineering initiatives include improved sightlines, signals, markings and the use of technology, such as laser detectors and the “runway” lighting for crosswalks.
Street Smart was first launched in October 2002. For more information, please visit: http://www.mwcog.org/transportation/planning-areas/walking-and-biking/streetsmart-safety-campaign/