Sobering Demonstration Kicks Off Safety Campaign
Courtesy of bestreetsmart.net
March 24, 2010
SILVER SPRING, Md. – A pedestrian is hit and injured by a car every eight minutes, federal officials say. Local leaders are now out to stifle that trend.
A local effort to cut down on the amount of pedestrians injured and killed in accidents kicked off in Silver Spring Tuesday with a sobering demonstration.
The Street Smart campaign is a joint effort by the District, Maryland and Virginia to encourage drivers to be more responsible about their speed and for pedestrians to be more aware of their surroundings.
Street Smart says about 89 pedestrians are killed and 2,700 are injured in accidents in the D.C. area every year.
At a demonstration Tuesday, “Bobby” the crash dummy was positioned in the middle of Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring. A truck traveling down the road then tried to react and stop at speeds of 25, 35 and 40 mph.
Traveling at 25 mph, the truck was able to stop a safe distance before hitting “Bobby.” But at 35 mph and 40 mph, it was a different story.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, the faster your vehicle is traveling, the longer it takes to come to a stop, and the harder it is to make any kind of driving correction safely,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.
According to data from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 2007 was the most deadly for pedestrians between 1998 and 2008. More than 100 pedestrians were killed on local roadways that year.
The campaign recommends several ways that drivers and pedestrians can increase safety and awareness, including using crosswalks, slowing down near intersections, stopping for pedestrians and looking both ways before crossing a street.
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