Montgomery Co. uses comic book story to teach safety

WASHINGTON – Meet Marco and Maria.

“They’re engaged to be married, they love each other very much and they’re traumatized when one of them gets hurt by doing something careless,” said Jeff Dunckel, coordinator for pedestrian safety in Montgomery County. For Marco and Maria, that careless act is crossing the street without using the crosswalk.

But Marco and Maria aren’t real. They’re fictional characters in a graphic-novel style pedestrian safety campaign recently launched in Montgomery County. The story is already appearing on Ride On buses and a number of bus shelters in the county.

Dunckel said the idea was to deliver a serious message about pedestrian safety, while drawing people in with the story of a romance in peril. He said the soap opera format coupled with the comic-book style generated a lot of discussion before the launch.

“There was initial concern that this sort of

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