Montgomery County’s Vision Zero Program Promotes New Projects and Increased Enforcement for Pedestrian Safety As Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend

by Patrick Herron
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Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 4, 2021

The fall and winter months bring less daylight and increase the risk for people walking. The adjustments that must be made at twilight during Eastern Standard Time can lead to more crashes between car drivers and pedestrians, with two-thirds of all fatal pedestrian injuries occurring between dusk and dawn. Montgomery County’s Vision Zero program is making investments to make roads safer and encouraging everyone to take simple steps to exercise caution and obey traffic laws.

“We all have an important role to play in keeping our roadways safe this fall and winter,” said Vision Zero Coordinator Wade Holland. “The County Government is making it safer for people to walk and bike through upgrades to streetlights, new signals and beacons to stop drivers when pedestrians are crossing and painting high visibility crosswalks. However, new infrastructure alone is not enough. We all need to prioritize safety as we travel. That means obeying the speed limit, never getting behind the wheel impaired and waiting for the signal whether we are driving, biking or walking. For those choosing to endanger themselves and others on the road, Montgomery County Police will be out issuing tickets.”

To curb the dangers of less daylight and increased alcohol consumption during the fall and winter holidays, the County is advancing pedestrian safety projects and stepped-up enforcement across the County:

  • MCDOT will spend $9.72 million over the next six years for evaluating and enhancing streetlighting across the County through streetlight maintenance and adding fill-in street lighting.
  • MCDOT and the State Highway Administration have installed over 30 new traffic signals and beacons in the past three years to create more protection for people crossing the street. In August, MCDOT installed three pedestrian hybrid beacons along Bel Pre Road in Aspen Hill and currently installing two pedestrian hybrid beacons on Fenton Street at Roeder Road and the exit from the Whole Foods/CVS entrance in Silver Spring.
  • Montgomery County Police are performing high visibility enforcement patrols across all six police districts with an emphasis on stopping impaired drivers, drivers not yielding to pedestrians, speeding and drivers not wearing seatbelts throughout November.
  • Montgomery County and its regional partners sponsor the Fall Street Smart Campaign that shares educational messages and gripping stories told by those whose lives have been shattered by a preventable mistake on area roadways.

Do your part to save lives on our roads:

  • Plan a sober ride home before you head out.
  • Drivers must yield to people crossing in the crosswalk.
  • Drivers must obey the posted speed limit.
  • Pedestrians must wait for the walk signal before crossing.
  • Put away your mobile device while traveling.

For more information on the County’s Vision Zero Initiative, go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/visionzero/index.html

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