Map: 12 Pedestrian, Bike Collisions in Montgomery County This Year
See where pedestrian and bike collisions have happened.
Just 10 weeks into 2013, Montgomery County Patch sites have reported 12 incidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists struck by vehicles. Among those, four pedestrians and one bicyclist were killed, with all of the fatalities occurring in the middle and eastern portions of the county.
Ken Silverman, an analyst for Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist 4) of Silver Spring, detailed the cluster of fatalities in Silver Spring and Wheaton on Navarro’s blog and called the deaths "simply unacceptable."
Silverman also reported that Ben Ross of Action Committee for Transit suggested that police aggressively ticket drivers who speed or fail to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
Responses from Patch readers, however, were mixed.
After a 23-year-old Silver Spring bicyclist died after allegedly illegally crossing an intersection in downtown Silver Spring Sunday night, some readers said they observe pedestrians and bikers ignoring traffic signals.
Action Committee for Transit, a Montgomery County-based transit advocacy group, took police to task after three pedestrians—including a woman with small children—were hit by cars within a few hours on Tuesday.
"All three collisions occurred where the pedestrians had the right of way," the group wrote in a statement by email. "Yet county police responded with a press release entitled 'Police Remind Pedestrians To Be Careful.'
"Nowhere did the police tell drivers to obey the law, which requires drivers to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in marked and unmarked crosswalks."
Determining fault for collision deaths can be a lengthy process, said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesperson. The county police department's Collision Reconstruction Unit submits a report to the Montgomery County State's Attorney's office, which decides if it will pursue charges against the driver, Starks said. That determination is likely months away for this year's cases, he said.
For less serious incidents, drivers may be ticketed within days, said Officer Robert Ladany, a county police spokesperson. "Appropriate citations were issued," for the driver that hit a student walking to Watkins Mill High School Tuesday morning, he said.