This talking crosswalk guide was installed at Bradley Boulevard in Montgomery County to improve pedestrian safety.
Montgomery County has spent millions on efforts to upgrade pedestrian safety — from traffic islands where pedestrians can safely stand in the middle of traffic to talking crosswalk guides.
Despite that, there were more vehicle-pedestrian collisions in 2012. But that number rose because of such incidents in private parking lots and garages, like those at shopping malls and grocery stores.
The 31 percent hike in collisions in those areas accounted for close to a third of all pedestrian accidents last year. But, there were no fatalities from those particular wrecks, and there were only 6 pedestrian deaths in the county last year, the lowest rate since such numbers have been tracked.
Already this year however, there have been seven pedestrian deaths in the county. County data shows that traditionally this isn't even the worst time of year for pedestrian collisions. The numbers typically rise from October through December, when daylight is shortest and parking lots and garages are full of holiday shoppers.