Street Smart campaign kicks off its fall initiative


OXON HILL, Md. (WDVM) — Street Smart kicked off its fall initiative on Thursday to urge drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to take safety precautions in order to avoid being involved in a traffic crash.

The fall initiative is important because it is the time of year when there is less daylight and therefore less visibility on the roadways. The first phase of the fall initiative includes a region-wide push by law enforcement to write citations and stop dangerous behaviors on the road. The second phase will include Street Smart events to grow awareness of the campaign.

In 2020, there were 90 pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the Washington Metropolitan Region. The Street Smart campaign uses heartfelt testimonials from area residents whose lives have been upended when they or their loved ones were struck by drivers.

It’s important for everyone in the community to understand how they can play a part in reducing the number of crashes and deaths.

If you’re driving . . .

  • Slow down and obey the speed limit.
  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.
  • When turning, yield to people walking and biking.
  • Look for bicyclists before opening your door.
  • Allow at least 3 feet when passing bikes.
  • Avoid using your cell phone and never text while driving.

If you’re walking . . .

  • Cross the street at the corner and use marked crosswalks when they’re available.
  • Use the pushbuttons.
  • Wait for the walk signal to cross the street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.
  • Before crossing, look left, right, and left again.
  • Be visible. Wear something light or reflective after dark.
  • Watch out for blind spots around trucks and buses.
  • Avoid using your cell phone while you’re crossing the street.
  • On an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.

If you’re biking . . .

  • Obey signs and signals.
  • Never ride against traffic.
  • Ride in a straight line at least 3 feet from parked cars.
  • Use hand signals to tell drivers what you intend to do.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Use lights at night and when visibility is poor.
  • On an off-street trail, obey all posted signs and approach intersections with caution.

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