Area Police are Enforcing Pedestrian Safety Laws.

The Program

Street Smart is an annual public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign in the Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia area. Since its beginning in 2002, the campaign has used radio, newspaper, and transit advertising, public awareness efforts, and added law enforcement to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The Street Smart program emphasizes education of motorists and pedestrians through mass media. It is meant to complement, not replace, the efforts of state and local governments and agencies to build safer streets and sidewalks, enforce laws, and train better drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The program is coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), and is supported by federal funds made available through state governments, and funding from some TPB member jurisdictions.

For more information on the the Street Smart campaign contact Michael Farrell, Program Manager at mfarrell@mwcog.org or 202-962-3760.

The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Problem

A National Problem:

  • In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians died in crashes nationwide, a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year. An estimated 65,000 pedestrians were injured. 1
  • In 2015, 818 cyclists were killed on streets across the country, and an estimated 45,000 cyclists were injured. 2
  • The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates the number of pedestrians killed in 2016 increased by 11 percent compared with 2015. This was the largest annual increase in both the number and percentage of pedestrian fatalities in the 40 years that national records have been kept. 3

Regional Facts:

  • Preliminary data tell us that in 2016, there were 71 pedestrian and 10 bicyclist fatalities, accounting for 29 percent of the 261 traffic fatalities in the Washington region.
  • Police in the District of Columbia, northern Virginia, and Maryland will be cracking down on drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists from April 17 – May 14 issuing warnings and citations to those who violate the traffic safety laws that keep people walking and biking safe—fines range from $40 to $500.

Enforcement

Supporting the mass media and public awareness campaign is a region-wide enforcement initiative. The DC Metropolitan Police Department and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board have stepped up efforts to share information on best practices in pedestrian enforcement with line officers. A standardized enforcement reporting form has improved our knowledge of the number and types of citations being issued.

Street Smart public awareness efforts are conducted in conjunction with increased law enforcement “waves,” in which police put an added emphasis on enforcing their presence and the existing laws regarding roadway safety. This multi-pronged strategy that has been shown to compound public safety campaign results and positively affect behavior.

Evaluation

Street Smart has conducted pre- and post-campaign surveys on all campaigns since 2002. This research is used to measure issue awareness and attitudes among drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. It also surveys awareness of the Street Smart campaign and its messages.

To read a summary of all results from the fiscal year 2017, please download our annual report (pdf, 5.8MB).

FY2017 Year in Review

StreetSmart TV Spots

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