Reminder to drivers: stop for pedestrians in crosswalks

The number of pedestrian crashes often peaks in September, and District police are making a special effort this month to remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians. The Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) have teamed up to identify locations for multiple pedestrian safety actions around the city. Two safety actions today along Georgia Avenue resulted in MPD citing 20 drivers in just one hour. Issuing citations for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk sends a clear message to drivers to follow the rules, said Sgt. Terry Thorne of MPD. If a pedestrian has stepped into the crosswalk, drivers within 1 ½ lanes must stop. In addition to the citations issued today for crosswalk violations, two drivers received tickets for using cellphones and one was arrested for driving without a license. (The fines for common traffic violations are listed on the MPD website.) 

During today’s pedestrian safety action, MPD officers also handed out fliers asking for information about a pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run crash along the same stretch of Georgia Avenue early Sunday morning. Bareket Haile, 26, of Northeast DC was struck by a driver heading north on the 2700 block of Georgia Avenue NW. According to police, the vehicle was last seen fleeing west on Girard Street. The car is described as a dark colored four-door vehicle, possibly a Chrysler, with stock chrome wheels. The car has noticeable damage on the driver’s side, according to a police statement

The two safety actions today were held on Georgia Avenue at the intersections of Newton and Girard Streets NW, locations where pedestrians frequently try to use crosswalks without traffic signals to reach nearby stores, apartments and schools. While many drivers yielded to pedestrians and some who seemed unsure how to respond crept past slowly, several sped right past within a couple feet of the pedestrian. Footage from the safety action is provided below. Three drivers seen in the video received citations.

MPD will hold pedestrian safety actions at about eight more locations this month, and traffic captains in each police district will continue holding two each month as we previously reported.