13 December, 2009



The temperatures are dropping, the holidays are approaching, and the shoppers are out
in force. Special holiday markets have cropped up in various parts of the city, and specialty
boutiques and shopping centers are doing strong business. It may be tempting to rush from
one store to another to catch the best sales and to get your shopping completed as quickly
as possible, but it’s important to take the time to remember your safety—and the safety of
others—while you shop.
On December 12 and 19, 2009, the MPD will conduct enforcement initiatives focusing on
pedestrian safety and aggressive driving in the First, Second and Third Districts. The efforts
will be concentrated near shopping districts and the MPD will focus on pedestrian crosswalk
violations, crossing against the light, distracted driving, speeding, and stop sign violations all
in effort to address pedestrian safety during the holiday season.
When walking along the busy streets of DC, pedestrians should keep the following tips
in mind:
• Stay on the sidewalk, not in the street; only cross the street in crosswalks with traffic
control devices.
• Look both ways before crossing the street
• Never run between cars into the street.
• Wear clothing that allows drivers and people to see you.
• Never run between cars into the street.
• Wear clothing that allows drivers and people to see you. That means no dark clothes
after dark or early in the morning.
• Keep alert! You may seem like an easy target to muggers and other crooks if you’re loaded
down with packages.
Drivers are also reminded to exercise caution and keep their cool while travelling from
shop to shop in search of the perfect gift. Aggressive driving is described as a combination
of unsafe and unlawful actions that demonstrate a conscious and willful disregard for safety,
including offenses such as running red lights and stop signs; following too closely, or tailgating;
changing lanes unsafely; failing to yield the right of way; improper passing; and speeding.
Don’t let your anger get the best of you if you’re driving. During the holidays, be sure to allow
extra travel time, because traffic congestion — and the related delays — is among the primary
factors that lead motorists to drive aggressively. By leaving extra travel time, you will be less
inclined to drive aggressively in order to make up for time lost in congestion.
Remember to signal your intentions, concentrate on your driving (not your cell phone,
stereo, passengers, or other distractions), and extend common courtesy to other drivers at all
times. Finally, keep everyone in your car safe by reminding them to wear their seatbelts. Drivers
will be pulled over, ticketed, and fined for not obeying the seat belt laws. Penalties include the
assessment points on your driver’s license and fines ranging from $50 to $150 for offenses.
»» The MPD offers safety tips for walkers, runners
and bikers online at:
»» This holiday season, don’t let the spirit of giving
lull you into giving burglars, muggers, and
pickpockets a better chance to do their dirty work.
Crooks love the holidays as much as everyone
else, especially because it’s an opportune time
for crime. Learn more at:
»» Aggressive driving will cost you. For more
information on aggressive driving as well as
the 10 basic rules of courtesy and safety, go to:

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