WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 3, making this the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians. Shorter days and an hour less of daylight during evening commutes means reduced visibility, which typically leads to an increase in crashes involving pedestrians as well as cyclists during the darker autumn months. Last year, in November and December there were more than 400 crashes involving pedestrians in the DC metro area. In 2012, 3,369 crashes in the Washington region resulted in 69 pedestrian and 3 bicyclist fatalities. These deaths accounted for 26.7 percent of the 270 traffic fatalities in the Washington region.
“We all have to work together to improve safety in our region, particularly now that it’s getting dark by the time many people are making their evening commutes”
As the days get shorter and more DC area residents travel during the darker evening hours, regional safety officials urge all drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to remain alert on area roadways and to properly share the road.
The safety push is part of the semi-annual Street Smart public education and enforcement campaign, a regional effort sponsored by the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In 2012, 72 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in crashes in the Washington metro region.
“We all have to work together to improve safety in our region, particularly now that it’s getting dark by the time many people are making their evening commutes,” said Chuck Bean, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians need to follow traffic laws, be aware of their surroundings, and avoid distractions, such as cell phones.” Among other safety tips, the Street Smart campaign reminds drivers to yield to those on foot or on bicycles at intersections, and encourages pedestrians and cyclists to wear light colors or something reflective to be more visible.
Law enforcement in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia will conduct increased enforcement October 28 through November 24, ticketing drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic safety laws. Fines can range from $40 to $500 for violations such as jaywalking and drivers and cyclists failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Drivers also are subject to getting points on their driver records.
For more information about the Street Smart campaign, and to learn tips on how to better share the road, please visit BeStreetSmart.net
About the Street Smart Campaign & the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB)
Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign is in its twelfth year. Its goal is to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information about Street Smart, please visit BeStreetSmart.net and twitter.com/COGStreetSmart. The TPB is the regional transportation planning organization for the Washington region. It includes local governments, state transportation agencies, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies.