Police focus on pedestrian safety

An MPD officer summons a pedestrian crossing the street in the middle of the 600 block of H Street NW.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Traffic Safety and Specialized Enforcement Branch continued its pedestrian safety efforts last week, issuing 69 citations to vehicle operators or pedestrians. MPD’s focus was primarily on violations at or near the intersection of 7th and H NW as well as along H Street NE.  Approximately 40 citations were issued to pedestrians and 29 to vehicle operators. In addition to issuing citations, the officers provided educational cards, spent time ensuring that the crosswalks were not obstructed by vehicles, and spoke to delivery truck and other drivers about the dangers posed when they park illegally next to a crosswalk.
An MPD officer instructs a driver blocking the crosswalk at 7th and H Streets NW to move.
In issuing citations to pedestrians, MPD’s relevant General Order (GO-303.01, https://go.mpdconline.com/GO/GO_303_01.pdf) states that officers should put primary emphasis on “those offenses where the pedestrian, through violation of existing statutes, creates a danger to himself, other persons, or the motoring public.” Of the 40 citations issued to pedestrians, the majority (29) went to people crossing midblock between signalized intersections, which is prohibited by DC Municipal Regulation (DCMR) 18-2304.1 (see http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/ChapterHome.aspx?ChapterNumber=18-23) (“Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.”)  Most of these citations were issued to people crossing H Street NW between 6th and 7th Streets NW or crossing 7th Street NW between G and H streets.  In both cases, the adjacent intersections are signalized and enforcement took place during fairly heavy midday traffic. 

The remaining 11 pedestrian citations went to people crossing against the “Don’t Walk” signal. Vehicle operators received 29 citations, including 15 for failure to stop and give right of way to pedestrians. Under DC Code 50-2201.28(b) (http://dccode.org/simple/Title-50/Chapter-22/), at a signalized intersection, vehicle drivers are required to stop and give right of way to a pedestrian “who has begun crossing on the ‘Walk’ signal”; DCMR 18-2302.3 (http://dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/ChapterHome.aspx?ChapterNumber=18-23) prohibits pedestrians from beginning to cross on a “Don’t Walk” signal (“No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of a "DON'T WALK" or "WAIT" signal”).  Vehicle operators also received 14 citations for distracted driving, seat belt, or other (e.g. driving in the 7th Street bus lane) violations.

MPD is planning to continue enforcement efforts this week.


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