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Pedestrian Collisions On Decline In Montgomery County

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"Bobby" is a dummy that is supposed to be a 10-year-old boy.  He's crossing Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring.
Matt Bush
"Bobby" is a dummy that is supposed to be a 10-year-old boy. He's crossing Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring.

By Matt Bush

Fatal collisions between vehicles and cars are down in Montgomery County. Fourteen people died last year, and county leaders are far from satisfied.

Bobby is ten years old. Or he's supposed to be. Bobby is actually a child-sized dummy, and he's been placed in the middle of Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring. When a pickup truck going the 25 MPH speed limit sees him, it's able to stop well short of him. But when the truck is going 35 MPH, it's a much different story for Bobby.

He's sideways on the road 10 feet from the truck. He's been knocked out of his shoes, and his Baltimore Orioles cap is on the truck's hood, not his head.

Jeff Dunckel, the county's pedestrian safety coordinator, says the real-life versions of this scene are less common now.

"Because we have been able to put up speed cameras up in many of our school zones, we find that hugely effective in reducing the number of collisions," he says. "In fact, we've reduced the overall number of collisions by nearly 30 percent in those areas where we have speed cameras."

But that truck going 35 in the 25 MPH speed zone? It wouldn't have gotten a ticket from a speed camera, and Dunckel says that shows how dangerous it can be if you go just a little over the limit.

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