Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Police Step Up Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Enforcement This Spring

During April and May, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) Traffic Division focused enforcement efforts on pedestrian safety in High Incidence Areas (HIAs) -- areas with more pedestrian collisions -- and other crosswalk locations where driver compliance with pedestrian safety laws has been an issue. Results of some of these actions are listed below.

On May 8, officers at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Turkey Branch Parkway in Aspen Hill addressed safety concerns between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: 
  • 72 drivers were cited for failing to stop for a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk; 
  • One driver was cited for a child seat violation; 
  • Four tickets were issued for driving with a suspended license; and 
  • Two citations noted the need for safety repairs to vehicles. 
On May 9, officers dressed in bright clothing crossed in the crosswalk at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They issued 77 traffic citations; 56 citations for failing to stop for a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk; and arrested one person who was charged with a drug offense.

Between 2008 and 2012, 48.5 percent of Maryland’s nighttime passenger vehicle fatality victims were not wearing seat belts. On May 10, Montgomery County, Gaithersburg and Rockville City police officers conducted nighttime seat belt enforcement for several hours starting at 7:30 p.m. at the entrance and exit ramps of I-270 and I-495.

The activity resulted in a total of 139 traffic citations, with the following breakdown:
  • 44 seat belt citations issued; 
  • 59 warnings issued; 
  • Four driving under the influence (DUI) arrests; 
  • Two criminal arrests; 
  • One criminal citation issued; 
  • One warrant served; 
  • Eight driving with a suspended license citations; and 
  • 25 citations noted the need for safety repairs to vehicles. 
During the Washington region’s Street Smart campaign, which ran through May 13, law enforcement officers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia stepped up ticketing of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who violate traffic safety laws. Drivers and cyclists who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as pedestrians who jaywalk, can face fines. Drivers also are subject to getting points on their driving records.

Information on the campaign and the Street Smart public education program is available on MWCOG’s website.