Eye to Eye: How making eye contact with can prevent driver-pedestrian crashes


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017. 

Traffic Sergeant Pete Elias says the town of Vienna faces difficulties with pedestrian and cyclist safety. Its roadways weren’t designed to handle the large volume of commuters who use the town as a cut-through during rush hour. 

That’s why the Vienna Police Department has its Eye-to-Eye Program: a way of decreasing accidents by encouraging drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to make eye contact before crossing.

“There’s that unspoken communication where either I’m going to go first or you’re going to go first and they’re not both trying to enter and cross that path at the same time,” said Elias. “It’s a simple concept but very positive and understandable for any age, and it works.” 

Sergeant Elias says pedestrians and cyclists are at fault in accidents more often than drivers are. A recent case involved a cyclist who was hit at an intersection after they failed to obey a stop sign. 

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