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.

The Spring 2014 Street Smart campaign is scheduled to run from April 14 through May 11, 2014.

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 2011, 4,432 pedestrians died in traffic crashes nationwide, a three percent increase from the number in 2010. Pedestrians accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
  • An estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes across the country.
  • Seventy percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred during nighttime hours.
  • Download national fact sheet

Regional Facts:

  • In 2013, there were 66 pedestrian and 7 bicyclist fatalities, accounting for 27 percent of the 269 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 14–May 11, 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.
  • Download Campaign Fact Sheet

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.

During the fall 2012 and spring 2013 campaigns, 3,804 citations and 483 warnings were issued to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, according to reports from participating agencies in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Prince William County, the City of Alexandria, the City of Falls Church, and the City of Rockville.

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. Measurements were taken pre- and post-campaign in order to gauge the effectiveness of the spring 2013 campaign.

For the evaluation, surveys were used of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in a broad geographic area around the metro region.

A summary of survey results shows:

  • On an unaided basis, 24 percent of the respondents said they recalled seeing or hearing ads for Street Smart.
  • On an aided basis, 39 percent said they saw at least one of the three advertising executions.
  • There was a 35 percent increase in respondents identifying Street Smart as a roadway safety program.
  • There was a 45 percent increase in awareness of police enforcement of pedestrian safety laws.

The StreetSmart TV Spot

FY2013 Year in Review

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