Local agencies ramp up springtime traffic safety enforcement

Dick Uliano, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – From northern Virgina, across the District and into suburban Maryland, police are planning a springtime crackdown on motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who break traffic safety laws.

The goal is to save lives and prevent injuries.

“We all have to be pay attention and be cautious,” warns Gwendolyn Ward of Germantown. Her 15-year-old daughter Christine was struck and killed by a car in October.

Ward is helping local leaders promote traffic safety.

There were more than 3,000 crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists last year with 70 fatalities across the D.C. region.

So far this year, 14 pedestrians have been struck and killed in the area.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will launch its safety campaign called “Street Smart” next week.

“Street Smart is a very important part of the regional effort to eliminate pedestrian and bicycle fatalities,” says Jeff Dunckel, pedestrian safety coordinator for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

Bicyclists are reminded to ride with traffic and stop at red lights. Pedestrians must stay in crosswalks and look both ways before crossing.

“Look left, look right and look left again,” advises Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board Chair, “That’s one of the simple messages we’re delivering.”

Motorists are urged to lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists especially when turning.

The Street Smart campaign will run through May 13.

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