Monday, November 17, 2014

Sheriff's Office to Conduct Traffic Safety Initiative to Reduce Crashes Involving Pedestrians

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies across the region are increasing enforcement through the month of November as part of the Street Smart campaign to reduce the number of crashes involving pedestrians.

With increasing safety concerns due to darkness falling an hour earlier after Daylight Saving Time, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to share the road and pay extra attention to one another.

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign is in its twelfth year. Its goal is to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths in the Washington metropolitan area.

Since 2013, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has worked 63 crashes involving pedestrians, four of which were fatal. The agency also worked 23 crashes involving bicyclists during the same time period. As part of the campaign, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit is conducting an education and enforcement campaign in areas of high traffic pedestrian and bicycle crossings.

“It is important to bring attention to pedestrian and bicycle safety and to ensure residents know the rules of the roadway,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Motorists are reminded that they must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian when they are within a marked crosswalk. Pedestrians must cross at appropriate locations and consider their safety first.

 The Street Smart campaign urges all commuters to avoid distractions such as cellphones, reminds drivers to slow down and yield to those on foot or on bicycles at intersections, and encourages pedestrians and bicyclists to wear light colors or something reflective to be more visible.

Law enforcement officials from across the region will be ticketing drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic safety laws.

Street Smart Safety Tips

If you're driving

  • Slow down and obey the speed limit
  • Look twice for people in crosswalks and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists 
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles 
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at intersections when you're turning 
  • Allow three feet when passing bicyclists 
  • Look for cyclists and cars before you open your door 
  • Slow down and obey the speed limit 
  • Avoid using your cellphone and never text while driving 

If you're walking

  • Cross the street at the corner and use marked crosswalks when they’re available 
  • Wait for the "Walk" signal to cross the street 
  • Before crossing look left, right, and left again 
  • Be seen! If you’re walking after dark or in bad weather, make it easier for drivers to see you by wearing light clothing or something reflective 
  • Don’t text while you’re crossing the street 
  • If you’re on an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.

If you're biking

  • Obey all traffic signs and traffic signals 
  • Ride in the direction of traffic, at least a car door width away from parked cars 
  • Use hand signals so drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians know what you’re going to do 
  • Always wear a helmet 
  • Use lights if you're riding at times of darkness
  •  If you’re on an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.
Learn more at

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