There are 3,928 miles of roads in Fairfax County, which had been developed for car transportation. We are re-engineering our roadways to be more pedestrian friendly.
But we all play in a role in keeping each other safe on the streets.
So far in 2019, there have been approximately 112 pedestrian crashes, including 14 fatalities and 126 injuries on our roads. In 2018, there were 174 pedestrian crashes, 16 fatalities and 196 injuries. And in 2017, there were 189 pedestrian crashes with five fatalities.
According to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, a pedestrian was killed every 1.5 hours in traffic crashes.
Slow down! Most of our pedestrian fatalities are on roadways with 40 or 45 miles-per- hour speed limits (Rt. 1, Rt. 7, Rt. 236 and Rt. 29), so vehicle speeds are important to watch.
A study by AAA showed that there was a 50 percent chance of a pedestrian suffering a fatal injury when struck at 42 miles- per-hour. That increased to a 75 percent chance when the speed of the striking vehicle increased to 50 miles-per-hour.
In addition, distracted driving can lead to accidents, so please, put your phone down while driving — it can wait.
Keep these additional tips in mind while you are on the road:
According to our Police Department, it is important for pedestrians to know that they do not have right of way when they are on the curb. VA Code §46.2-924 specifically states: No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic. Once in the crosswalk, drivers are required to yield right of way to the pedestrian. However, the pedestrian needs to ensure the roadway is clear before stepping into the crosswalk. Make eye contact with drivers.
Steps that pedestrians can take to be safer:
Get more tips on pedestrian safety from the National Highway Traffic Administration Administration:
For the next few months, it will be dark earlier in the evening. The highest number of pedestrian fatalities occur from 6 to 9 p.m. and the second highest from 9 p.m. to midnight, according to NHTSA.
Street lights play an important safety role, so how can you help?
Report streetlights that are out to Dominion Energy or NOVEC and keep your neighborhood or local streets safe for all.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has designated millions of dollars in federal, state and county funding under the direction of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to construct pedestrian improvements in high-priority areas. These projects include:
- New crosswalks with pedestrian signals.
- Upgrading existing crosswalks to include pedestrian signals.
- Constructing new walkways and trails.
- Upgrading existing walkways and constructing ADA accessible curb ramps.
- Pedestrian refuge islands.
- Decreasing turn radii.
- Curb extensions and bulb-outs.
- Bus stop improvements.
- Yield to pedestrian signs.