Through a joint engineering, education and enforcement effort, County Executive Isiah Leggett’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative: <http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-pedsafety/index.html<http://montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-pedsafety/index.html>> has drastically reduced the number of pedestrian collisions, especially severe collisions, across the county.
Since implementing the Initiative in 2007, the rate of serious pedestrian collisions has dropped from 29% to 19%. However, to continue making our county safer for both pedestrians and drivers, we need to continue educating our residents, especially our youth.
The 2013 Teens and Distraction Research Report:
by Safe Kids Worldwide found older teens account for 50% of all pedestrian deaths amongst children 19 and under, and found a 25% increase in pedestrian injuries amongst 16-19 over the last five years.
Unsafe pedestrian habits amongst teenagers like walking against lights, crossing in the middle of intersections, and texting or wearing headphones while crossing busy streets, are becoming a growing factor in pedestrian collisions across the county. The Safe Kids Worldwide report found one in five high school students crossed the street distracted. Most often these students were texting and using headphones. With successful education efforts already implemented at Blair High School: <http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-pedsafety/blairwalkproject.html>
and at Seneca Valley High School: <http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/Blog/DOTblog.asp?blogID=25&blogItemID=2191>, in light of Christina Morris Ward’s untimely death, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation are teaming up to continue educating our high school students.
This year Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation is launching the Walk Your Way:
<http://montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-pedsafety/SRTS/WalkYourWay.html> to educate high school students about the importance of pedestrian safety.
As part of the campaign, the county is launching the Walk Your Way Grant Project:
<http://montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-pedsafety/SRTS/WalkYourWay.html>. The County is awarding up to $2,000 to teams of high school students for the creation and implementation of their own pedestrian safety education program at their high school. Projects can range from painting sidewalks, to designing and distributing posters and other materials, to holding a school wide assembly. For a more extensive list of ideas check out the county’s resource kit:
To be eligible for this project grant, students must work in groups of three or more, and have at least one teacher or staff supervisor. The project must be developed and implemented by April 30, 2014. Interested students should fill out and submit the application which can be found here:
by Monday, December 16, 2013 at 5pm. Submissions can be emailed to WalkYourWay@montgomerycountymd.gov<mailto:WalkYourWay@montgomerycountymd.gov>, or delivered to 101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850. Mailed applications must be postmarked by December 16, 2013.
We encourage you to promote this project to your students as a unique opportunity for them to develop and implement their own campaign to educate your community. This project will help them to develop the leadership skills necessary for success at both the college and career level. We can also provide you with materials for you to use to advertise this project to your students. We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you and your school. Please do not hesitate to contact Nadji Kirby or Alex Cohen at WalkYourWay@montgomerycountymd.gov<mailto:WalkYourWay@montgomerycountymd.gov>
if you have any questions regarding the Walk Your Way Grant Project or the Countywide Pedestrian Safety Initiative.
Nadji and Alex
Nadji Kirby and Alex Cohen
Department of Transportation
Office of the Director
101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850