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Virginia ramps up pedestrian safety campaign

Fairfax County police started cracking down on both pedestrians and drivers who don\'t obey the law. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – As more people hit the streets this spring, law enforcement officials are making sure pedestrians are safe.

Fairfax County police started cracking down on both pedestrians and drivers who don’t obey the law. This ramped up enforcement is an annual springtime event for the police department.

The effort comes on the heels of a fatal accident Thursday night. A pedestrian was killed while trying to cross Leesburg Pike around 10:50 p.m. The accident is still under investigation, and authorities are working to determine if the victim was using the crosswalk, Fairfax Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says.

Saturday morning, David Bryant, who lives in the Bailey’s Crossroads area, was waiting to cross the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Payne Street near where Thursday’s accident happened. He’s happy to hear that Fairfax County police kicked off the department’s annual pedestrian safety enforcement and education initiatives.

“People just don’t follow the law,” he says.

Lynne Griffith says she feels safe while crossing at the same intersection, but she too likes the idea of stepped up enforcement.

“Yeah, I hadn’t had any problem with it as long as I follow that sign that says you can walk,” she says.

From 2010 to 2012, pedestrian violations shot up 173 percent in the county, according to Fairfax County police.

In the McLean district, police will be focusing their efforts nearWest Falls Church and Dunn Loring Metro stations. They will hand out tickets and warnings to speeding drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians.

Pedestrians could get slapped with a fine for not using crosswalks.

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