County Officials Launch Pedestrian Safety Campaign in Parking Lots and Shopping Centers (VIDEO)

Montgomery County officials are reminding residents to look out for each other when out and about this holiday season. MyMCMedia’s Sonya Burke reports.

Respect the Space reminders:

  • Drivers are reminded that it is illegal to park a vehicle without disability tags or license in a designated disability parking space. The fine is $250.
  • The individual who was issued a placard or plate must be transported in the vehicle for the vehicle to legally park in a designated disability parking space.
  • Parking in a striped area/access aisle adjacent to and between disability spaces is also against the law. Those striped areas allow room for wheelchair lifts to load and unload passengers.
  • Disability parking spaces are located in all parking lots and garages within parking districts for the exclusive use of those with disability tags or placards. Even when vacant, they are never, even for a matter of minutes, for use by anyone else.
  • If you see a vehicle without a disability tag or license plate parked in a designated disability parking space, call the police non-emergency number, 301.279.8000.

The Heads Up in Parking Lots Safety Message:


  • Don’t drive distractedly – it’s illegal to hold a phone or text while driving.
  • Don’t assume pedestrians see you.
  • Be especially cautious backing out of a space.
  • Slow down! Parking lots are not speedways.


  • Stop talking on the phone and texting while walking. Take out the ear buds.
  • Don’t assume drivers see you.
  • Don’t walk behind a vehicle that is backing out.
  • Be aware and constantly look out for moving vehicles.

Holiday Safety Tips and Reminders:

  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock you car doors and don’t leave anything of value within view.
  • If you take trips back to your vehicle to lighten your gift package load, move your car to a different parking space because potential thieves can be watching to see which vehicles contain gifts.
  • Don’t hide or store gifts in your trunk when you get home from shopping. Theft from vehicle is a prevalent crime.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Keep a list of credit cards at home, in case they are stolen.
  • Carry your closed purse in front of and close to your body.
  • Carry a wallet in a front jacket or pants pocket.
  • Don’t let your guard down because you are in a rush.

Seasonal Home Safety Tips Include:

  • If your Christmas tree can be seen through a window, do not display presents under the tree where they can also be seen by potential burglars.
  • Make sure to lock all doors and windows.
  • If you are going away for the holiday, let a neighbor know that your home will not be occupied and have someone keep an eye on your home. Stop delivery, or ask someone to pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Place your lights on timers to give the appearance that the home is occupied.
  • After the holidays, be sure to break down cardboard gift boxes for recycling so that a potential burglar does not know your home has a new computer, TV, video game system, etc.

Special note from the National Crime Prevention Council:

The holidays are a good time to update or create your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file. Make sure items like TVs, VCRs, cameras, camcorders, cell phones, major sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment and power tools are on the list. Be sure to store this information in a cloud-based program, so that if your computer is stolen, you’ll still be able to access it.

Reminders from the Fire and Rescue Service Include:

  • Tree: Make freshness a priority. Check needles to make sure they are green and difficult to pull back from the branches. If the tree has been freshly cut, the needles should not break. Tap the tree on the ground several times. If several needles fall off, the tree is probably dried out and could be a fire hazard. Water tree daily and do not place it close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.
  • Lights: Use only lights that have been tested by an approved testing laboratory for safety. Inspect them for frayed wires, bare spots, broken or cracked sockets, excessive kinking or wear before plugging them in. Avoid stringing more than three light strands together. Always turn off tree lights, indoors or outdoors, when leaving the house and before going to sleep.
  • Fireplace ashes: If possible, allow all ashes to cool in place for several days. For disposal, place ashes in an approved metal ash bucket with a tight-fitting metal lid, and wet them down. Store the container outside, away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles or other combustible materials. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes. Don’t dispose of ashes outside on a windy day. Wind can whip up what may have seemed like cool embers, making them fiery hot and sending them traveling to ignite nearby combustibles.
  • Candles: Don’t leave burning candles unattended or place candles too close to holiday decorations. Keep candles in secure holders and on a safe surface away from children and pets. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials recommend the use of battery-powered flashlights or lanterns in the event of a power outage.
  • Extension Cords: Make sure that an extension cord is suitable for the electrical “load” needed. Do not place cords under furniture or rugs and do not plug two extension cords together to increase the total length. If too much power is demanded from an extension cord, overheating and fire may result. Read all packaging and instructions and ensure it is UL listed.


Holiday Safety Campaign (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

Pedestrian Safety 3

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and other county officials held a news briefing at Congressional Plaza on a cold Dec. 8 to spotlight pedestrian safety during the holiday season. Watch the conference in its entirety here: Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger stressed the need to be safe in congested parking lots. Officials reminded motorists […]

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