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Fairfax County Police Want Pedestrians, Drivers to be ‘Street Smart’

by Karen Goff October 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments

Street Smart CampaignFairfax County Police are initiating a public awareness campaign to get pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to follow safety rules.

The Street Smart initiative begins tomorrow, and police hope it will cut down on behaviors that contribute to accidents. That includes not crossing in a crosswalk or intersection; pedestrians unlawfully using the roadway for travel where sidewalks are available; distracted driving; failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk; reckless driving; driving while intoxicated; and speeding.

“Many of these crashes are preventable,” Capt. Michael Grinnan, Commander of FCPD’s Traffic Division. “By utilizing sidewalks for travel, crossing at a marked crosswalk or a controlled intersection, pedestrians could potentially help us to reduce the number of pedestrian-related crashes by as much as 40 percent. By focusing on distraction-free driving and being alert for pedestrians and bicyclists, motorists could potentially help us to reduce that number by approximately the same percentage.”

Reston had a pedestrian traffic fatality last week. Silvia Raquel Corella Erazo, 72, of Reston, was crossing Wiehle Avenue at Chestnut Grove, where there is not a crosswalk or light, before sunrise last Wednesday when she was hit by the driver of a Honda. She later died at Reston Hospital Center.

The driver of the Honda, a 30-year-old man, will not be charged, police said.

Figures published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reflect 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2013.  In Fairfax County, there have been over 400 pedestrian-related crashes since 2012, police said.

FCPD says October is the leading month for pedestrian-involved incidents in Fairfax County.

“With the arrival of autumn and milder temperatures,  we typically see an increase in the number of people out walking, bicycling, or jogging,” Grinnan said. “With shorter periods of daylight now,  motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists need to be more cognizant of each other and share the road.”

The initiative also aims to identify engineering improvements that could potentially make pedestrian travel safer, police said. Police will be on the lookout for improvements to be made, such as whether crosswalks need to be repainted or areas where lighting needs to be improved.

No word on whether notoriously unlit Reston — which got special mention by police from Reston District Station at a May community meeting at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods — will get improved lighting as a result.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    “That includes …distracted driving…”

    Does that include Talking on the Cell Phone while Driving? (Hint: Drive Now, Talk Later.)

  • Cathie Gorman Freeman

    While passing the Chestnut Grove Condominiums today heading north to my garden plot on North Shore Dr., I had to slow for a jaywalker in the north bound lanes. Perhaps the condominiums needs to do some education of it’s residents. There’s no reason to cross there. Despite misinformation, there is no bus stop directly across from the condominiums. The bus stop is down at the intersection near the fast-food restaurants and gas station.

    • Chestnut Grove Resident

      There’s a sign that looks like a FFX Connector and/or Metrobus bus stop sign directly across from the entrance to Chestnut Grove. Does the bus not stop there? I live in Chestnut Grove, and I tell ya, Wiehle is a tough road to cross, even at the crosswalks and with the lights. The condo management there has said NOTHING about the recent fatality (who I think was a resident). Their main concern is managing parking. There seems to be no awareness of the new transportation options in this area, and no effort made to accommodate the growing numbers of pedestrians.

  • TBird73

    I’m not from here, so maybe there’s something I’m missing, But WHY are people walking in streets when there are two perfectly good sidewalks on both sides of the road?? And I mean BUSY roads. These neighborhoods are not Farmville. These are crowded suburban neighborhoods. You paid good tax money and HOA fees for those sidewalks. There are there for a reason. Get on the dam sidewalks and get out of the roads.

  • Cathie Gorman Freeman

    I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe if a number of residents got together and lobbied to management, something could be done. It’s unfortunate that you’re on such a busy street but regardless of how difficult crossing at the intersection might be, that’s the safest way to go.

    • Chestnut Grove Resident

      Thanks Cathie. I’ll be attending the next board of directors meeting to see if anything is in the works.

    • Cathie Gorman Freeman

      Hopefully you can get other residents to attend with you. Frankly, your management should have sent all residents a notice about the woman who was killed, and warning residents not to cross there. Good luck.

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