WASHINGTON -- There have been 24 crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists near the Vienna Metro station in 2013-14, according to the Fairfax County Police Department -- and now officers are hoping jaywalking fines can curb crashes.
Officers are kicking off an intense enforcement campaign this week as a way to cut the crash numbers.
Jaywalking tickets in Fairfax County end up costing $75 -- an amount that includes the $15 summons fine and $60 court costs. Before writing tickets this week, officers spent last week handing out flyers on pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian safety recommendations include:
- Pay attention
- Cross at marked crosswalks and intersections
- Look left, right, then left again before crossing
- Control traffic lights using pedestrian push buttons
- Begin crossing the street only with a "walk" signal
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather
- Watch out for trucks and buses backing out of parking spaces and driveways
Police department safety tips for drivers include:
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks
- Slow down. Obey the posted speed limit
- Look before opening car doors
- Be careful passing stopped vehicles
- When passing cyclists, allow three feet of space.
Fairfax County is one of the few in Virginia that is allowed to increase fines for failure to yield to pedestrians at specific intersections. There are 400 locations in Fairfax County where signs notify drivers: "Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks $100 - $500 Violation Fine."
"With the growth of Metro stations in Fairfax County, the police department reminds all commuters (whether walking, driving, or bicycling) to be alert and pay full-time attention," the Fairfax County Police Department wrote in a news release.
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