For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 30, 2016
For Immediate Release: June 30, 2016
County Executive Leggett Announces Latest Phase of Campaign to Reduce Pedestrian Collisions in Parking Lots
County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced additional efforts in the County’s ongoing campaign to improve pedestrian safety in parking lots.
“The number of pedestrian collisions in parking lots increased by 17% last year,” said Leggett. “The two most common causes are distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians. We want to emphasize that we all need to pay better attention and put down our cell phones to decrease these preventable collisions.”
In 2014, there were 420 reported pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County and 102, or about one in four, occurred in parking lots and garages. In 2015, there were 473 reported pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County; of those, 119 occurred in parking lots and garages. Even though traffic generally is slower in parking lots, in the past two calendar years, one in ten pedestrian collisions in parking lots resulted in incapacitating or disabling injuries.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number of pedestrian collisions in parking lots dropped by 14%. However, between 2014 and 2015, the number of pedestrian collisions in parking lots increased by 17%. Over the last six years (i.e., calendar years 2010 – 2015) there has been a yearly average of 106 pedestrian collisions in parking lots.
The latest phase of the County’s continuing parking lot pedestrian safety education campaign includes several elements:
Today, June 30, people will be educating shoppers in Wheaton, Bethesda and Silver Spring about pedestrian safety in parking lots by handing out pedestrian safety shopping bags and tip sheets;
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is installing “Heads Up” decals in all County parking garages and lots, to help pedestrians remember to pay attention as they traverse parking lots;
Postcards have been mailed to 150,000 County residents with a quiz about the best ways to achieve pedestrian safety in parking lots; and,
Posters (English & Spanish) will be offered for display at stores and County facilities to help build awareness among shoppers and store employees regarding pedestrian safety in parking lots.
Leggett has made pedestrian safety a priority of his administration, focusing on education, engineering improvements and enhanced enforcement. The campaign to raise awareness about pedestrian parking lot safety began with a brief education effort in 2009, focused particularly on senior citizens. In 2013, the County launched its broader education campaign to promote pedestrian safety in parking lots.
The message for pedestrian safety in parking lots is clear: “Don’t run over people. Don’t get run over.” The public education campaign includes several tactics, e.g., interior and exterior bus ads; bus stop ads; postcards; posters at stores and County facilities; and, distribution of reusable shopping bags and safety tip sheets to customers, including “Shop with a Cop or Firefighter.”
Given that distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians are the main causes of pedestrian collisions in parking lots, this campaign reminds drivers and pedestrians to:
• Look in all directions for cars and people (and look before backing up)
• Pay attention to cars and people (don’t phone, don’t text)
• Connect through eye contact or waving
# # #
Media Contact: Lorraine Driscoll, 240-777-6507Release ID: 16-439