Police crack down at pedestrian crosswalks to reduce fatalities

WASHINGTON — As it gets darker during the morning and evening rush hours this time of year, the number of pedestrian-involved crashes spike, and police are asking everyone sharing the road to stay alert.

Stepping away from work to meet a friend, Mica Bevington came upon a student march that closed Georgia Avenue for a brief period of time Monday, Nov. 14. She usually has difficulty crossing the six lanes of traffic at Fenwick Lane, which is not near a lighted intersection.

“I see loads of people trying to cross it, and the drivers will yell at them, and tell them to, ‘Get out of the road. It’s a busy road. What are you doing?'” Bevington said.

Montgomery County police are highlighting the crosswalk, and another on Bethesda’s Bradley Boulevard, as two of the most dangerous crosswalks in the county, and they are ticketing drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who don’t obey traffic safety laws. It’s all part of the Street Smart campaign running through Nov. 27.

Tickets can range from $40 to $500 and could result in points on a driver’s record, police said in a release.

Fall brings fewer hours of daylight, which can make seeing pedestrians and bicyclists more difficult for drivers. Last year in November and December, crashes involving pedestrians in the region spiked, with more than 550 incidents — 21 percent higher than average, according to Montgomery County police.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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