Pedestrian Safety Effort Underway
Officers distributed safety fliers to residents and motorists along Little River Turnpike between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19 in an effort to increase pedestrian safety in Fairfax County. Another team of officers will target the education/enforcement effort on Leesburg Pike on Friday, November 21 during the same timeframe. The goal of the initiative is to target pedestrians not using crosswalks and raise awareness among drivers to the dangers of pedestrians crossing roadways during hours of darkness.
Police started a new pedestrian education initiative on Friday, October 31. In light of the campaign, police note that there have been three serious incidents, all in the Mason District, since that day. Most recently, a 62-year-old Annandale man was struck and died as a result of his injuries on Monday, November 17 while crossing Columbia Pike. The crash is still under investigation. A 36-year-old moped operator was struck and killed on Friday, October 31 around 9 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard in the Falls Church area. Another serious crash took place on Braddock Road, near With Hazel Road on Wednesday, November 6 at around 7 p.m. A 23-year-old woman was struck and critically injured as she crossed Braddock Road. She is suffering life-threating injuries and the investigation is continuing. No charges have been placed in either crash, at this time.
Over the past three years, more than 400 pedestrians have been struck and injured in crashes on Fairfax County roadways. Typically, October is the highest month for pedestrian-involved incidents. According to Commander of the Traffic Unit, Captain Mike Grinnan, “This increase is likely due to a combination of factors; decreased daylight hours and many more children out for trick-or-treating on Halloween.”
Captain Grinnan urges walkers, motorists, and bicyclists to pay close attention to pedestrian safety rules, such as crossing with a light and using a crosswalk. He also pointed out that some residents are running in the roadway where there are sidewalks; sometimes 2 or 3 people abreast, “This simply isn’t a safe practice. Wherever there are sidewalks available, they should be used.”
Further, police note that both pedestrians and motorists are equally responsible for observing laws and safety practices related to pedestrian right of way. More information regarding pedestrian safety may be found at http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/#programs/pedestrian/index.asp.