Beginning on October 27, 2015, The Fairfax County Police Department will be participating in a regional pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative, known as the Street Smart Campaign.
Along with our state and local partners, the Department’s goal is to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.
During this campaign, officers assigned to each of the eight district stations and the Department’s Traffic Division will be on the lookout for motorist and pedestrian behaviors that have historically been known to contribute to pedestrian-related crashes. Examples of some behaviors include, but are not limited to the following: failure to cross at a marked crosswalk or intersection, pedestrians unlawfully using the roadway for travel where sidewalks are available, distracted driving, failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, and speeding.
Figures published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reflect 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2013. In Fairfax County, there have been over 400 pedestrian-related crashes since 2012.
According to Captain Michael Grinnan, Commander of the Department’s Traffic Division, “Many of these crashes are preventable. By utilizing sidewalks for travel, crossing at a marked crosswalk or a controlled intersection, pedestrians could potentially help us to reduce the number of pedestrian-related crashes by as much as forty percent. By focusing on distraction-free driving and being alert for pedestrians and bicyclists, motorists could potentially help us to reduce that number by approximately the same percentage.”
Statistics show that October is the leading month for pedestrian-involved incidents in Fairfax County. “With the arrival of autumn and milder temperatures, Grinnan says, we typically see an increase in the number of people out walking, bicycling, or jogging. With shorter periods of daylight now, motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists need to be more cognizant of each other and share the road.”
The initiative also aims to identify engineering improvements that could potentially make pedestrian travel safer. If, during our efforts, an officer observes a crosswalk that needs re-painted, street lamps that need replaced, or an area where additional signage or lighting may be needed, we urge officers to make the appropriate notifications to remedy those issues.
For additional information on the Street Smart Campaign, click on the following link: http://www.bestreetsmart.net