On October 22, regional officials gathered at Upper Senate Park in Washington, D.C. to kick off the fall Street Smart campaign. Joining them was special guest Gwendolyn Ward. She shared the story of her 15-year-old daughter, Christina Morris-Ward, who was struck by a car and killed on Halloween one year ago while crossing the street in Germantown on her way to school in the dark.
The Roaring Bengal Marching Band from James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring played a dirge in recognition of the 72 pedestrians and cyclists killed in the region last year. At the same time, a bell tolled in recognition of each pedestrian killed in 2012. With each ring, a single band member ceased playing his or her instrument and left the instrument on the ground. The song ended with a lone trumpeter playing amid a sea of abandoned instruments.
This month, regional safety officials came together to remind drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to pay extra attention to one another on area roadways, particularly as the change back to standard time is linked to an increase in crashes. The annual Street Smart public education campaign is encouraging area residents to be more alert. Last year, in November and December there were more than 400 crashes involving pedestrians in the Washington metro region.
Street Smart safety tips and more information about the campaign are available online.