New campaign aims to save lives on Maryland roadways

Sunday is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and there’s a new campaign in Prince George’s County that’s encouraging Maryland drivers to help keep pedestrians safe out on the roads.

Natasha Pettigrew was hit and killed on Sept. 19, 2010, while on her bike in Largo. Pettigrew was a 3rd year law student at the University of Miami with hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney for women in the Congo.

Pettigrew had taken time off to begin a campaign to run for the U.S. Senate and to train for a triathlon.

“She had three loves: she loved to swim, she loved to run and she loved to ride her bicycle,” said her mother Kenniss Henry.

Henry has been advocating for pedestrians ever since her daughter’s death and she began working with Street Smart nine years ago.

Recently, she helped kick off a new campaign at the Mall at Prince George’s, the ‘Lives Shatter on Impact’ testimonial wall. It features photos of victims, videos and educational tools for visitors.

Henry said she wants people to understand the pain left behind when a loved one is lost to a traffic accident.

“I say you’re never going to heal, this is a profound loss,” she said. “Learn to manage your pain, learn to be able to deal with it and you will eventually have some sense of repair but you never heal.”

Campaign spokesperson Paulette Jones said the goal is to create awareness in order to stop roadway fatalities.

“We’re hoping that it will continue to heighten the awareness of roadway safety,” she said while adding that Vision Zero Prince George’s is another effort in the county to encourage safe driving.

“This will require a collaborative effort and we all need to take responsibility,” she said.

The wall will be up until 6 p.m. Sunday before traveling to D.C. Dec. 11-13 and then to Pentagon City Dec. 19-20.

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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