First New "Yield To Pedestrians" Safety Signs
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
April 4, 2003
First New "Yield To Pedestrians" Safety
To be Installed Tuesday, April 15
Fairfax County Officials, including Board of Supervisors Chairman
Katherine K. Hanley, Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Lee
District Supervisor Dana Kauffman and Chief of Police Thomas Manger, will
be on hand Tuesday, April 15, at 10 a.m. to install Fairfax County's
first "Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk $100-$500 Violation
Fine" signs which cite the newly increased fine for non-compliance
with the law in these specially marked intersections. This ceremony will
take place on the trail along Richmond Highway at the northwest sector of
the intersection of Richmond Highway and Sherwood Hall Lane. Media will
have the opportunity to hear from these county representatives why
pedestrian safety is an important initiative deserving of this increased
enforcement effort. After the speakers install the sign completing the
intersection, they and others will participate in a commemorative
crossing of the street.
Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks has long been a violation, however the increased fine of up to $500 per violation was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly last year for Fairfax County after the county pushed for this as part of its legislative program. Throughout the Washington Metropolitan area in the last year there has been a regional effort to improve awareness on the part of drivers and pedestrians about pedestrian safety issues and to focus on drivers who violate these laws. Drivers who see a sign that reminds them about the increased penalty and are aware of the required court appearance are likely to think twice about speeding through crosswalks, making it safer for pedestrians to cross the street.
These signs will be installed at intersections throughout the county over the next few years. The week of April 15, they will be installed at 11 intersections and transportation officials anticipate installing these signs at possibly 75 more intersections this spring. The "Yield to Pedestrian" safety sign program is part of a comprehensive program of pedestrian safety initiatives that Fairfax County is undertaking.
More than 300 pedestrians are injured and 15 killed in automobile related incidents annually in Fairfax County, often resulting in serious permanent disabilities and loss of function. Tragically, this could be prevented by increasing the practice of properly crossing the street and improving driver awareness of the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians.
For more information about pedestrian safety issues in Fairfax County or for information about the ceremony, please call Chris Wells, pedestrian program manager, 703-324-1100, TTY 703-324-1102.