The District of Columbia and surrounding jurisdictions are united against bicycle and pedestrian tragedies. In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed nationwide and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. Additionally in 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed nationwide and an additional 52,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2%of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.
In the Washington Metropolitan region, an average of 2,600 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured and an average of 89 are killed each year. In the District of Columbia alone, pedestrians make up more than 40% of the total number of people killed in traffic accidents. The District has approximately 650 pedestrian crashes per year and approximately 15 pedestrian deaths.
Below are some of the safety initiatives in the District of Columbia for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers:
- Countdown pedestrian signals have been installed in more than 95 percent of DC's 1,550 signalized intersections over the last five years, more than any other U.S. city.
- The fine for drivers who fail to stop and give right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks is $250 and 3 points. If a driver strikes a pedestrian in the process of failing to stop, the penalty is $500 and 6 points.
- Any cyclist under 16 years of age cannot operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or any attachment to a bicycle without a helmet on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other right-of-way in the District of Columbia.
- The District Department of Transportation and Washington Area Bicyclists Association train thousands of children and others on pedestrian and bike safety every year.
- The Metropolitan Police Department targets drivers and pedestrians along high crash corridors and high pedestrian traffic locations as part of Street Smart enforcement waves every year. Street Smart is a bi-annual public awareness campaign in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The campaign uses advertising, public awareness efforts, and law enforcement to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
- It is illegal for a driver to make a right turn in front of a bus that is stopped at an intersection to receive or discharge passengers. Violators are subject to a fine of at least $100.
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