Leaders in Fairfax County, Virginia, delivered a message to the public, urging drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to pause and “take a moment” in an effort to improve road safety.
“This is a team effort,” said Jeff McKay, the chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, on Tuesday.
McKay said the goal of the message was “to get people in the community to simply take a moment while they’re out on our roads, trails and sidewalks to become aware of what’s around them.”
He urged drivers and cyclists to even take a moment to make eye contact with each other.
“These things are so important and literally they build a safer community,” McKay said.
To highlight a cautionary tale, county resident Steve Steiner spoke alongside McKay, telling the story of when he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike by a driver turning right at an intersection.
“I realized the driver wasn’t looking at me,” Steiner said. “I shouted out to get the driver’s attention and I attempted to evade the car by veering to the right but to no avail.”
Steiner’s bike was crushed under the vehicle’s front bumper.
“I flew off the bike and bounced off the windshield,” Steiner recounted. “I had a concussion, several broken ribs and serious internal injuries.”
It was a traumatic and expensive experience, leading to more than $100,000 in medical bills.
“As I was recovering from my injuries, I thought a lot about what could have been done to prevent another cyclist or pedestrian from repeating my experience,” Steiner said.
“My hope and prayer for our community is that people start taking a moment,” McKay said.
According to McKay, the county is moving toward investing in infrastructure with $100 million committed over the next six years to improve pedestrian safety.
“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” McKay said.