Beginning August 4, 2015, The Lexington Park Community Oriented Policing (COPs) Unit, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation, launched a Pedestrian Safety Initiative focusing on Great Mills Road, (Route 246) in order to address concerns for the large number of citizens that walk across and along this roadway. The goal of improving pedestrian safety is the responsibility of both pedestrians and drivers and involves educational and enforcement operations by members of the COPs unit.
“One out of every four traffic-related fatalities in Maryland involves a pedestrian,” stated Tom Gianni, Chief of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office. “Drivers and pedestrians need to pay attention and look out for each other because pedestrians ALWAYS lose when involved in a crash. Daylight hours are shorter this time of year, and it is especially important for motorists to slow down and look for pedestrians, and for those walking to wear bright and reflective clothing.”
Motor Vehicle Administrator Christine Nizer added, “This is a smart initiative to help keep drivers and pedestrians safe. This is a reminder for pedestrians to use crosswalks and for drivers to always pay attention to the road.”
FIRST TIME VIOLATORS, (pedestrians), observed crossing Great Mills Road in an unsafe manner to include: Failure to Cross at a Signalized Intersection TA 21-503(c) Penalty: $50 up to $500 and Failure to Yield Right-Of-Way to A Vehicle TA 21-503(a) Penalty: $50 up to $500 will be issued a WRITTEN WARNING and given Maryland Highway Safety Office Educational Pamphlet. To date, over forty (40) written warnings have been issued. SECOND TIME OFFENDERS will receive a payable citation.
Pedestrians are reminded that standing in the middle turn lane of Great Mills Road while waiting for vehicles to pass is ILLEGAL. If a crosswalk is not nearby, a pedestrian may cross the road. However, his or her crossing [the roadway] cannot affect the flow of traffic in either direction. In other words, do not cross until there are no vehicles approaching from either direction. Preferably, pedestrians should use designated crosswalks when crossing the street at all times.
Motorists are asked to do their part by traveling the posted speed limit and remaining alert. The speed limit on Great Mills Road from Gate 2 of NAS Patuxent River to Forest Run Road is 35 mph. From Forest Run Road to Route 5 the speed limit is 40 mph. Speed and distracted driving enforcement are strictly monitored, and violators will be stopped and ticketed.
"For drivers, I think we can all agree most traffic accidents can be avoided if we simply pay attention and obey the speed limit. Regarding pedestrians, always use a crosswalk, wear clothing that helps you be seen and revert to what we were all taught as children; look both ways before crossing the street! On behalf of Sheriff Cameron, I would like to commend the Lexington Park COPs Unit for their efforts and thank the citizens and business community of Lexington Park for their continued support of our efforts to make Lexington Park a better place to live and work," said Captain Steve Hall Commander of Special Operations.
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