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Cops In Bethesda To Ramp Up Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 4/9/2013, 3:15pm  ET

Crosswalk at Wisconsin Avenue and Stanford Street

After a recent series of high profile pedestrian accidents in Bethesda, Montgomery County Police in the 2nd District will conduct a pedestrian safety program targeting drivers who don’t obey traffic laws starting next week.

Bethesda Transportation Solutions shared the announcement from 2nd District Police Commander Capt. Dave Falcinelli via its Facebook page this afternoon:

The Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Initiative will occur between April 15-30.

Officers will be conducting enforcement of pedestrian laws at various intersections/crosswalks in the Bethesda area.

This is a comprehensive program targeting drivers, especially those that fail to stop and yield before turning right on red and those that fail to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.

Pedestrians and cyclists violating their rules of the road will also be stopped.

Please stay off the phone and pay attention to your driving, especially in the downtown areas.

The targeted enforcement comes a day after a group of Bethesda Elementary School parents began on online petition for more pedestrian safety efforts around the Arlington Road school. The parents started the petition because of a Feb. 27 incident in which a three-month old child in a stroller was hit and dragged from a crosswalk on Arlington Road. The child was not injured.

In March, two police-reported pedestrian collisions in the span of 26 hours left some transit advocates unsatisfied with the county’s initial response. Bethesda resident and Action Committee for Transit member Ben Ross said Montgomery County Police released pedestrian safety tips that seemed to blame the pedestrians instead of drivers who Ross said hadn’t obeyed traffic laws.