HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — The Street Smart campaign brought pedestrian safety to Prince George’s County via an exhibit over the weekend. The exhibit contained information on how to stay safe and testimonials from those who have lost loved ones to pedestrian accidents.
Paulette Jones, a member of the Street Smart campaign as well as the public information officer for Public Works & Transportation, helped set up this first exhibit in the Mall at Prince George’s.
“We don’t necessarily want to deal with statistics and numbers because at the end of the day these are human beings. These are lives lost,” she said.
Street Smart’s goal is to have zero pedestrian fatalities. They are aiming for this goal through their six elements of education, equity, evaluation, emergency, engineering and enforcement.
They typically have been getting the word out through “walking billboards,” but they had to switch to the exhibit due to COVID and in-person interactions being limited. They also gave out several bike helmets through a partnership over the summer.
“It really… requires a collaborative effort,” Jones stated.
Jones said that, especially with daylight savings time and the sun setting earlier, drivers and pedestrians alike need to be more aware on the road.
“If you’re out walking, please maybe wear light work clothing. If you’re riding your bicycle, please be sure to wear your helmet, and just really be mindful. Be alert. All of us, including drivers, pedestrians, bikers… we need to really take responsibility and be alert,” she said.
Future exhibits will be taking place next month – one will be in DC from December 11-13 and another in Pentagon City from December 19-20. There will additionally be others in Montgomery County with dates to be announced later.
Street Smart aims to share stories of those who have been affected through these exhibits.
“You really realize that there are a lot of rising stars, and because of those fatalities, those rising stars are telling a different story today. That’s what you realize,” Jones said.