• FABB supports the county’s “Take a Moment” safety campaign.
  • FABB encourages the county to engage local biking/walking/safety advocacy groups fully to maximize the campaign’s impact.

During the last week of September, Fairfax County launched a countywide safety campaign, “Take a Moment,” to eliminate traffic related deaths and injuries. Its initial emphasis is on walkers, especially students, but campaign messages ask drivers, walkers, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users to keep in mind that safety is everyone’s job.

The campaign urges all to “take a moment”:

  • to stop and wait for school buses to safely load and unload children.
  • to give yourself enough time to allow for students walking and biking to and from school.
  • to slow down and take extra care in school zones and in neighborhoods.
  • to make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians at stoplights and intersections before proceeding.

Other safety suggestions will be added to the messaging over the coming year and are available on the campaign website.

In expressing the county’s commitment to enhancing pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety, the Board of Supervisors stressed that $100 million would be spent over the next six years on infrastructure to improve pedestrian safety across the county. As FABB has reported, other funds are being directed to bike infrastructure as well. Both efforts are contained in the county’s ActiveFairfax plan to improve safety on streets and trails.

The Board also noted its support for the establishment of a cross-agency pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety team that includes the Board of Supervisors staff, Virginia Department of Transportation, and the following county agencies: Department of Transportation; Fairfax County Public Schools; Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; Fire & Rescue; Police Department; Office of Public Affairs; and Cable and Consumer Services.

We think the cross-agency pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety team is a great idea, but FABB encourages the county to include local advocacy groups, Safe Routes to School groups, and parent-teacher associations in this effort. These groups, including FABB, are a tremendous resource and have a wealth of practical experience that the county should use to its advantage.

FABB applauds these initiatives and commends the supervisors for their attention to the rising rates of pedestrian- and bicycle-related fatalities and injuries on Fairfax County roads and streets. The Fairfax effort complements the state’s Share the Road campaign and Virginia’s recognition of October as Bicycle and Pedestrian Awareness Month.

The need for this effort has been amply demonstrated in the few days that followed the campaign’s launch. Tragically, a hit-and-run crash in Annandale on October 2 resulted in the death of a female pedestrian while three pedestrians were hit by a car at Fair Lakes Shopping Center earlier that day.

In our next blog, FABB will present a few ideas that should help prevent the Take a Moment campaign from being regarded as merely a forgettable bit of marketing theater.

 

 

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