Most of us know that as drivers, we are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks—but how many of us actually do it? That is what a May sting by Montgomery County Police aimed to find out, and the results shocked and dismayed the officers.
Usually, police officers patrol in their cars and look for drivers that are not following the law, but in the case of pedestrian right-of-way operations, foot patrols proved to be much more efficient. While the early May patrol was called a sting, police announced that they would be ticketing between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., wearing brightly colored clothing.
Positioned at just one crosswalk on Veirs Mill Road, these plainclothes police officers ticketed a whopping 72 offenders in just two and a half hours—that equates to one ticket every two minutes. For a county whose annual pedestrian deaths equal the amount of homicides, police are taking this information very seriously.
While police officers typically patrol in Downtown Bethesda in parked squad cars, the foot patrol proved to be the most effective in matters of pedestrian safety. Residents of the area voiced their appreciation during the sting. As police stopped more and more cars—often at the same time—to hand out the $80 tickets, it became more apparent throughout the day how very badly something needed to be done.
While the sting has proved a valuable point, police want to reiterate to Montgomery County drivers that they can be ticketed whenever they break the law and not just during advertised stings.
The Bethesda pedestrian accident lawyers at Lewis & Tompkins commend the Montgomery County Police on taking an important step toward making our hometown pedestrians safer.