The Arlington County Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists while maintaining the safe and orderly flow of traffic in Arlington County. To prevent crashes and ultimately save lives, the department has focused on changing the behavior of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians through various education and enforcement campaigns. The police department’s efforts are part of a broader Arlington County initiative to embrace multimodal transportation options in an urban village setting. When each mode of travel can predict the actions of one another based on the legal rights each possess, our shared roadways become safer for all users.
In recognizing that pedestrians are one of our most vulnerable travelers, the Arlington County Police Department implemented the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration’s Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Campaign to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. This campaign focuses on enforcement of right-of-way pedestrian laws at marked crosswalks that are uncontrolled by a traffic light. The goal of this high-visibility enforcement campaign is compliance with the right-of-way of pedestrian laws even when police are not present.
In implementing the program, the department researches potential locations by assessing Traffic Accident Reduction Program (TARP) data, constituent complaints and officer observations. Once a location is selected, the officers utilize traffic data for the speed limit of the particular intersection to measure a safe stopping distance. This safe stopping distance provides the motorist with enough time to observe the pedestrian in the crosswalk and bring their vehicle to a stop. A designated pedestrian from the department always waits for a safe break in traffic and never enters the crosswalk in disregard of approaching vehicles. Motorists that fail to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk are cited.