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Montgomery County Streets Safer For Pedestrians

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At this mile and a half stretch of road, Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and the Prince Georges County line, more pedestrians are hit than anywhere else in Montgomery County, MD.
Jamila Bey
At this mile and a half stretch of road, Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and the Prince Georges County line, more pedestrians are hit than anywhere else in Montgomery County, MD.

By Jamila Bey

More than 400 pedestrians are struck by cars annually in Montgomery County, and twelve people this year have been killed. The county has started a campaign to educate walkers how to stay safe.

On the mile and a half stretch, Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and the Prince Georges County line, more pedestrians are hit than anywhere else in the county.

Volunteers will be on Piney Branch most days of the week to intercept jaywalkers. Gustavo Andrade organizes the Spanish language effort. "Our plan is to go up to people who are crossing where they're not supposed to and educate them about how to be safer," says Andrade. "So crossing on the crosswalks, especially now that it's getting darker earlier."

Jeff Dunkle is Montgomery County's Pedestrian Safety Coordinator. He says visibility is key. "Why is it that when it's dark out everybody wears dark clothing? It does make things more dangerous for pedestrians on the street when they cannot be seen by drivers," says Dunkle. "Cross where you're supposed to cross and cars will know where you're likely to be and will be able to avoid hitting you."

The safety effort will also crack down on drivers. And as the press conference was underway, attendees witnessed the plan in action.

A car ran a red light and policemen handing out fliers ticketed the driver on the spot.

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