Pedestrian Safety Initiative in Gaithersburg
On March 26, from 4 to 9 p.m., the Gaithersburg Police Department conducted an initiative to increase awareness of pedestrian safety through education and enforcement efforts. The campaign was made possible through a grant from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Highway Safety Office.
Locations were chosen for education and enforcement actions due to high pedestrian traffic and recent events. They included Clopper Road at Firstfield Road, Route 355 at Odendhal Avenue and Great Seneca Highway at Orchard Ridge Drive. The focus was on pedestrians not properly using crosswalks, drivers failing to stop at clearly marked stop lines and drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. Drivers and pedestrians observed in violation received either a citation or a pre-printed warning.
Officers issued 131 warnings and nine traffic citations to both pedestrians and drivers and handed out 65 educational brochures to pedestrians during the initiative. One traffic stop resulted in an individual being charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
“Pedestrian safety remains a concern, especially in areas where citizens often cross against the pedestrian signal, putting themselves at risk of being struck by a vehicle,” said Police Chief Mark Sroka. “We will do all we can to encourage awareness and compliance of the rules of the road for both pedestrians and drivers.”
The Gaithersburg Police Department provided these tips for pedestrians and drivers:
Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
Use caution when passing stopped vehicles.
Look for pedestrians stepping out from between parked cars.
Cross the street only at marked crosswalks and intersections.
Before crossing, look left, right, then left again.
Use pedestrian pushbuttons.
Wait for the “Walk” signal to begin crossing the street.
Wear clothing that makes you as visible as possible, especially after dark and in inclement weather.