Failing to Yield to Pedestrians in Montgomery Co. Could Cost You

Drivers in Montgomery County may find police out in local intersections, looking for anyone who fails to yield to pedestrians.

Police dressed in bright-colored clothing patrolled along Viers Mill Road in Rockvlile Wednesday, issuing citations to drivers who do not yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

"We're looking for drivers who are not yielding to pedestrians who are lawfully crossing the roadway in this crosswalk," Capt. Thomas Didone Jr. told News4's Chris Gordon.

An officer posed as a pedestrian in a bright yellow T-shirt.  "He's wearing a high[ly] visible T-shirt so we know that the drivers are able to see him," Didone said.

About a half dozen Montgomery County Police officers were working the sting Wednesday. At one point, so many cars were stopped for violations that an officer said, "It's like shooting fish in a barrel. It's kind of scary."

Drivers who didn't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks were given $80 tickets.

Police cite the rash of pedestrian deaths in the city this year as a reason for stepped-up enforcement.

Among the recent incidents, Marlyn Eres Ali, 53, was fatally struck when crossing Connecticut Avenue in Wheaton in March. The driver fled the scene and hasn't been found.

Neighbors are grateful for the police presence, Gordon reported.

"It's the bottom of the hill and usually the cars have very high speed. And sometimes they are not stopping all the time," said Rockville resident Marianna Bobu.

"There's three lanes of traffic," said resident Alan Landay. "If one or two of the lanes stop, and the third doesn't, you could be very surprised."

The department says the officers will be conducting a series of similar stings throughout the month.

"Everybody has a responsibility to look out for each other; everybody has a responsibility toavoid these pedestrian crashes," Didone said. "But it's most important that you look for the other person, that you don't drive distracted, and that you make sure you cross lawfully and turn lawfully when you're driving the vehicle."

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