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Police Focusing Pedestrian Safety Efforts On Drivers

By Aaron Kraut

Friday - 6/14/2013, 4:10pm  ET

Police watch the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Arlington Road near Bethesda Elementary School in April (file photo)Montgomery County Police say 12 recent pedestrian stings prove their focus for preventing pedestrian collisions this year is on the drivers, what some pedestrian advocates say is a change.

The Department put out a press release on Friday that said its focus is “on driver education and enforcement, with pedestrians being cited when unlawful crossing is observed.”

With 11 pedestrian fatalities this year in Montgomery County — more than the six reported all of last year — pedestrian safety has been a hot button issue.

County officials say the ratio of citations issued to drivers and pedestrians is starting to even out, though a presentation on pedestrian safety efforts a few weeks ago showed most citations were issued to pedestrians.

There have been 176 reported pedestrian collisions so far this year. Police said they issued 271 citations and 52 warnings to drivers during the May sting operations, which included undercover cops in bright clothing using crosswalks near Walter Johnson High School and Bethesda Elementary School.

Police reported another 90 citations have been issued to drivers in non-pedestrian sting enforcement in March and April, which also included enforcement near Bethesda Elementary School. Police issued 16 citations to pedestrians in the stings.