DRIVER

Montgomery County Officials Address Pedestrian Safety After Summer of Several Fatalities

Public safety officials in Montgomery County promise to educate pedestrians and make it safer to cross local streets after a series of fatal pedestrian crashes since the beginning of summer.

Seven pedestrians have been struck and killed since June 1, prompting a review by public safety teams. They concluded they need to do more to tell the public about the risks of crossing major local roads.

The internal review says most of the victims were crossing streets without using crosswalks and doing so at night and in dark clothing.

In one case, alcohol was cited as a factor. Both the pedestrian who was killed and the driver were intoxicated.

The report also revealed about 15 hot spots — interchanges shown by traffic data to be at higher risk of possible accidents.

Police and transportation officials said they are working on social media, radio and billboard campaigns to educate pedestrians about risks and will try to increase them, especially near schools.

“We figured we had to do something and started really raising the human cry before the kids got back in school and back-to-school efforts begin," Montgomery County Police Capt. Tom Didone said.

A recent News4 I-Team investigation revealed concerns about drivers, too, finding hundreds of traffic violations in school zones and near school crossings — including speeding — in the past three years.

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