The annual autumnal time change is associated primarily with earlier sunsets, but fatigue due to disrupted sleep patterns is another side effect.
Between darkness suddenly occurring during the duration of the evening rush hour, and bleary-eyed drivers, the time change can actually be a safety hazard on the roads.
AAA Mid-Atlantic this week issued a lengthy press release that included the following tips to stay safe over the next couple of days.
Time shift safety tips for pedestrians:
- See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing and/or accessories at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear.
- Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
- Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.
- While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid listening to your music player at a volume that prohibits you from hearing approaching danger.
Time change tips for drivers:
- Pay attention and eliminate all distractions including cell phones and car clocks that are off an hour!
- Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Watch for children and families in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections, and when backing out of driveways.
- Turn on your headlights. Make yourself more visible during early morning and evening hours.
- Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
- Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
- Teen drivers should exercise extra caution.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out ones. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
- Slow down during rain and fog.
The rest of the press release, after the jump.
Arlington Public Schools and the Arlington County Police Department are reminding students, parents and drivers to watch out for one another on the roads as a new school year starts.
Yesterday APS released a new Public Service Announcement video, above, featuring Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Police Chief Jay Farr and School Resource Officer Supervisor Lt. Susan Noack.
Among other things, the video reminds parents to practice safe walking with their kids and reminds drivers that it’s never okay to pass a school bus with its stop arm out.
The first day of school for the vast majority of APS students is a week from today — Tuesday, Sept. 6. Barcroft Elementary Students, however, are already back at school; their first day was Aug. 1.
(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) A man has been struck by a car on 10th Street N. in Clarendon.
The crash happened around 6:45 p.m., on 10th Street N. at the N. Garfield Street intersection, just west of Washington Blvd.
Initial reports suggest a driver in an SUV struck the man as he was in the marked crosswalk. The man, said to be in his 20s, was bloodied but conscious and alert when paramedics arrived. He was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A nearby resident said the intersection is dangerous because drivers speed up as they turn onto 10th Street from Washington Blvd.
“This is what I’ve feared for the longest time and why I’ve repeatedly complained to be county,” said Anne McKenna. “It is a notoriously horrible intersection.”
McKenna said she was instrumental in getting Arlington County to install bright crosswalk signs at the crossing two years ago, but they’ve had little impact on driving behaviors.
“No cars ever stop in that crosswalk and… there is no enforcement,” she wrote in an email. “I’ve never seen ONE law enforcement/code enforcement person in that intersection.”
Police are investigating the crash, but McKenna said the driver, who remained on scene after the crash, was allowed to drive off. Police charged the driver with failure to yield, a minor traffic infraction.
“No arrest or any justice for pedestrians,” McKenna said. “Huge blood stain in street.”
This is the second significant pedestrian crash in Arlington in the past two weeks. Last week a teenage girl was struck and seriously injured while walking in a crosswalk on Washington Blvd in Ballston.
Arlington County is conducting a pedestrian and bike safety campaign this week.
Editor’s note: Citing a witness, an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the victim as female. Police say the victim was a man.
From 8:30-10:30 a.m. tomorrow, and from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Arlington officers will be participating in a special detail in the Crystal City and Clarendon areas, promoting the campaign and enforcing traffic law violations by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“Approximately 25 percent of the traffic fatalities in the Washington area are pedestrians and bicyclists, with nearly 90 deaths per year,” ACPD notes in a press release (below). “Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to pay attention to one another and always proceed with caution and care for each other’s safety.”
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and on April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., officers with the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will be out promoting the 2016 Spring Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Awareness Program. This safety enforcement detail will be held in the Clarendon and Crystal City areas. This campaign will run from April 11, 2016 through May 8, 2016. Officers will enforce violations of traffic laws by motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Members of the media are invited to attend to cover the detail.
The detail is part of the 2016 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign and the Arlington County Police Department’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Awareness Program to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety across the region. These programs are designed to carry out education and enforcement campaigns throughout the year in order to ensure everyone shares the roads safely. Approximately 25 percent of the traffic fatalities in the Washington area are pedestrians and bicyclists, with nearly 90 deaths per year.
Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to pay attention to one another and always proceed with caution and care for each other’s safety.
This weekend, members of the Red Cross and the Arlington County Fire Department will be going door-to-door in the Douglas Park and Nauck neighborhoods, performing fire safety checks and smoke alarm inspections and, when necessary, installing free smoke alarms.
The goal: “to reduce the number of fire-related injuries and fatalities by ensuring residents have working smoke alarms.”
ACFD says it will continue canvassing Arlington neighborhoods throughout the spring and summer to promote fire safety. From a press release:
According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of dying in a fire by nearly half. Acting Fire Chief Joseph Reshetar explains, “Early detection of a fire is a key element to survival. Please make sure your smoke alarms are operating properly.”
Last summer ACFD piloted this program and, in just 14 days of canvassing, installed a total of 865 alarms and 174 batteries. Of the 1,826 homes inspected last summer, 30 percent had no working smoke alarms or an insufficient number of smoke alarms. Chief Reshetar will join the firefighters and volunteers canvassing this Saturday with the goal of reducing that percentage.
Firefighters from all 10 fire stations will continue to canvas neighborhoods throughout Arlington County every Saturday from now through September, to provide smoke alarm inspections and installations. Arlington County residents may also contact the fire department to schedule these services.
Remember, installing smoke alarms is only one part of home fire safety. The Fire Department and Red Cross encourage you to:
- Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the “test” button.
- Change the batteries in all alarms twice a year with daylight savings time, unless you alarm is equipped with a 10 year lithium battery.
- Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plan twice a year. Your plan should include two ways out of every room, getting low, closing the door behind, going directly to your predetermined family meeting place, and then calling 9-1-1.
Arlington County will be installing new traffic signals, featuring a blinking yellow arrow, along certain high-traffic roadways.
The flashing yellow signals will replace the familiar left turn signal with unblinking green and yellow arrows.
The older signals run from green arrow, to yellow arrow, to a solid green light, followed by a solid red. They’re accompanied by a metal sign that says “left turn yield on green.”
The new signals will run from a green arrow to a flashing yellow arrow, then to a steady yellow arrow followed by a red arrow. A sign with the words “left turn yield on flashing yellow arrow” will be placed next to the signal.
“The blinking yellow arrows help motorists know when to yield to oncoming traffic while attempting a left turn and support recommendations from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program,” according to a county press release. “Studies show that the flashing arrow signal is better understood by drivers than the more common circular green and yellow lights.”
“The flashing yellow arrow has been proven to increase compliance and reduce collisions. It’s already in use in other parts of Virginia,” the press release continues. “The new signals also provide traffic engineers with more flexibility in the way left turns are directed if traffic conditions change.”
Arlington will initially be installing the new signals along parts of Arlington Blvd, Glebe Road and Lee Highway, at a cost of $60,000. Additional installations are expected to follow.
VDOT is currently installing the new signals in parts of southern Virginia.
The session will be held at the Central Library at 1015 N. Quincy Street on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7-8:30 p.m.
It will involve both a book discussion focusing on the need for pet emergency preparedness across the country, as well as a talk about ways residents can train their pets in case of an emergency, such as unusual or extreme weather events.
The discussion will focus on Cathy Scott’s book “Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned.” It’s a journalistic account of the aftermath of the hurricane that hit Louisiana more than a decade ago, telling the stories of pets who were separated from their owners because of the storm. The book recounts the rescues of these pets as well as the reunions with their families.
After discussing the book and the issue, participants will receive safety advice and a free pet preparedness starter kit. The kit will include a collar strobe light, a collapsible food/water bowl and a waste bag dispenser.
Copies of the book will be available to borrow from the Central Library reference desk starting on Jan. 25.
Photo via Turner Publishing
(Updated at 4 p.m.) Once one of Arlington’s top 5 intersections for collisions — particularly those involving pedestrians and cyclists — the “Intersection of Doom” in Rosslyn now isn’t even in the top 25.
Safety improvements at the intersection have dramatically reduced accidents at the intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway, said Larry Marcus, the county’s head of transportation engineering, in a new county-produced video.
The county faced a challenge with the intersection: how to design quick and relatively inexpensive improvements at an intersection where 1,700 bicyclists per day try to cross a street also being crossed by 600 vehicles per hour exiting I-66.
“The obvious thing to do is separate these movements,” Marcus said.
Bicyclists and pedestrians now get a 10 second head start to start crossing Lynn Street while the traffic exiting I-66 waits at a red light with an illuminated no right turn signal. Pedestrians and cyclists then get a don’t cross signal while traffic turning right onto Lynn Street clears out.
Those relatively simple “operational improvements,” along with traffic enforcement and a public education campaign by Arlington County police, have dropped the intersection out of the county’s top 25 most crash-prone, Marcus says.
Despite the improvement, Marcus said the county is getting ready to begin a planning process for a more permanent solution to pedestrian-car conflicts at the intersection.
“There’s certainly an opportunity to build something,” he said.
The “no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown” is timed to coincide with the busy Thanksgiving travel period.
From an ACPD press release:
Every year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times. Millions of Americans hit the roads to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road means the potential for more dangerous roads, and it’s as important as ever that everyone is buckled up.
The Arlington County Police Department will be joining other state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) high-visibility seat belt enforcement campaign Click It or Ticket. The no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown combines powerful messages about seat belt safety, with increased patrols day and night, targeting all unbuckled motorists.
NHTSA research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent. In 2013, seat belts saved the lives of 12,584 passenger vehicle occupants. If seat belt use had been at 100 percent, an additional 2,800 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.
Nationwide, the seat belt use rate is at an all-time high of 87 percent, but the Click It or Ticket campaign aims to reach that remaining 13 percent. In 2013, for example, there were 9,580 unbuckled occupants killed in crashes–49 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants killed that year. At night, the numbers are even more disturbing. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2013, law enforcement noted that 64 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were unrestrained, as compared to 48 percent during the day.
It only takes a second to buckle up, and isn’t that easier than getting pulled over and ticketed? With the help of highway safety advocates and local law enforcement officers across the country, we can increase seat belt use and save lives on our roadways this Thanksgiving.
Remember: Click It or Ticket. You have a lot to lose otherwise.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
The enforcement action will target motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians caught breaking traffic laws in Ballston, East Falls Church and Crystal City. It’s part of a fall bicycle and pedestrian safety awareness program.
With the days getting shorter and daylight saving time ending Sunday, pedestrian and bicyclist safety is an important law enforcement focus. Most fatal pedestrian accidents occur after dark.
From an ACPD press release:
Between October 27-29, 2015, the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will be out promoting the 2015 Fall Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Awareness Program in the Ballston, East Falls Church and Crystal City areas.
Officers will be at the following locations:
October 27th – Fairfax Drive & N. Monroe Street from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
October 28th – 1700-1900 block of N. Sycamore Street from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
October 29th – 1500-2300 block of Crystal Drive from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
This enforcement detail is part of the 2015 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign which runs from October 26, 2015 through November 15, 2015. Officers will ticket motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic laws.
These programs are set up to carry out education and enforcement campaigns throughout the year in order to ensure everyone shares the roads safely. Pedestrians and bicyclists account for a quarter of the traffic fatalities in the region, nearly 90 deaths per year.
Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to pay attention to one another and always proceed with caution and care for each other’s safety.
School Bus Cameras Stop Issuing Tickets — The stop arm cameras on Arlington public school buses are no longer sending citations to those who drive by the buses while the stop signs are activated. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring determined that Arlington does not have the legal authority from the General Assembly to issue summonses from school bus cameras by mail. [Washington Post]
Laundry Room Fire at The Shelton — Yesterday around 6 p.m. a dryer in a laundry room at The Shelton apartment building (3125 24th Street S.) in Nauck caught fire. The fire was reportedly controlled by a sprinkler system, but not before filling the third floor of the building with heavy smoke and prompting an evacuation. [Twitter]
Last Weekend for Hudson Trail Outfitters — The local adventure retailer Hudson Trail Outfitters says this will be their last weekend in business. The company, which has a store on Pentagon Row, is offering 50-80 percent off remaining items. [Hudson Trail Outfitters]
Rep. Beyer Wins Spelling Bee — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) won the National Press Club’s annual Politicians vs. Press spelling bee Wednesday night. Beyer won by correctly spelling “apostasy” in round 23. The win keeps the spelling bee title in Virginia, after Sen. Tim Kaine won last year. [Politico]
‘Most Interesting Man in Arlington’ Contest — Don Tito in Clarendon will be hosting its first ever “Most Interesting Man in Arlington” contest Saturday night. Hosted by Mel, of 107.3’s morning show, the contest will judge based on looks and a series of challenges. [Clarendon Nights]
Discover Cherrydale This Weekend — The Cherrydale Business Alliance will hold its second annual “Discover Cherrydale” festival on Sunday afternoon. The event will feature vendor booths, a beer garden, food trucks and various family-friendly activities. [ARLnow Events]
Red Top Given Green Light for Stickers — An Arlington County Board-ordered review of new stickers on the back window of Red Top taxicabs has found no safety hazard. Lou Gatti, a long-time cab driver who is now an industry critic and who was the one who raised concerns, was disappointed by the findings. “There are no checks and balances in this industry, except for me,” Gatti is quoted as saying. “I can’t understand why no one seems to care about the facts and the laws, except me.” [InsideNova]
Blue Line Issues This Morning — A faulty switch near the Pentagon prompted Metro to route Blue Line trains over the Yellow Line bridge for a significant portion of this morning’s rush hour. [Twitter]
Fire Station 8 Task Force — At its Tuesday meeting, the Arlington County Board approved a charge for its new Fire Station No. 8 task force. The task force will review viable sites for the fire station, will seek a location that will improve fire and EMS response signs, and will seek to balance costs with service needs. [Arlington County]
More Metro Delays This Morning — Delays and overcrowded trains made for “another miserable day” on the Orange Line during this morning’s commute. Metro says it’s hoping to have full service restored on the Silver, Orange and Blue lines by the end of the year, following a catastrophic fire at an electrical substation in D.C. [WMATA, Twitter, Twitter]
Old Growth Forest in Arlington Recognized — A 24-acre portion of Glencarlyn Park, just south of Route 50, has been recognized by the Old Growth Forest Network. The park has trees that were likely saplings while the British burned the White House across the river during the War of 1812. [Arlington County]
GW Parkway Repaving Nearly Complete — Crews are starting to wrap up a repaving project on the GW Parkway that has prompted lane and ramp closures over the past few weeks. The formerly pockmarked section of the Parkway north of Reagan National Airport now has a smooth coating of asphalt. [WTOP]
Lee Highway Streetlight Upgrade Approved — The Arlington County Board last night approved a $2.2 million project to replace 1.5 miles of aging streetlights along Lee Highway with new, energy efficient LED streetlights. Some residents have previously complained of an “ugly” blue tint from the county’s LED streetlights. [Arlington County]
Ballston IHOP is Turning 50 — The IHOP restaurant in Ballston will turn 50 years old early next year. Reportedly, it was the first Virginia location for the chain. [InsideNova]
Arlington Hosting Metro Safety Seminar Tonight — Officials from Arlington County and WMATA will be participating in a Metro Safety and Preparedness Seminar tonight in Ballston. A panel of officials will discuss Arlington’s response to Metro incidents and emergency preparedness tips for Metro riders. [Arlington County]
Photo by Justin Funkhouser
The department’s 2015 back to school safety campaign includes both enforcement and outreach to drivers, students and parents.
In addition to the traffic enforcement by police and by by the new stop arm cameras on Arlington school buses, ACPD has placed electronic roadside message boards around the county “reminding citizens of the start of school and to drive safely,” according to a press release.
“The Arlington County Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of all students and motorists,” said Police Chief Jay Farr, in an Arlington Public Schools-produced public service announcement video.
“We would like to remind everyone to be extra careful this year,” Farr continue. “Share the road with buses, pedestrians and bicyclists. Remember, buses are now equipped with stop arm cameras… it’s never okay to pass a school bus with the stop light out.”
ACPD has issued several back-to-school safety tips. For drivers:
- “Obey speed limits which may change during school zone times”
- “Avoid distracted driving and keep your attention on the road”
- “Watch for students walking and riding bikes to school”
- “Don’t pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading passengers”
- “Have all vehicle occupants wear their seatbelts”
The police department’s safety tips for students and pedestrians:
- “Cross the street at marked crosswalks and never against a red light”
- “Look before you cross and follow the direction of school crossing guards”
- “Always walk on designated sidewalks or paths, never along the side of a road”
An electronic road sign in Clarendon is reminding drivers to be aware of and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Arlington County Police Department-owned sign was placed near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, where traffic is approaching Clarendon’s main bar district.
The sign flashes three separate messages: “yield to people in crosswalk,” “watch for bikes on your right” and “people don’t have airbags.” It’s part of an ongoing ACPD traffic safety campaign, said a police spokesman.
“We’re trying to modernize the message that we send in regards to traffic safety,” said Lt. Kip Malcolm. “Most mundane traffic safety messages get overlooked by motorists. Anything we can do to help promote or draw attention to their driving behaviors is going to get the message across faster and make it more memorable.”
In 2013 the electronic sign was placed at an accident-prone on-ramp, at Route 50 and Washington Blvd, with the simple message: “don’t hit the car in front of you.”
Sgt Damon Washington, who first proposed the free event, said it was part of the department’s effort “to be more proactive and reach out to the community.”
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday, July 18, at Kenmore Middle School (200 S Carlin Springs Road), residents will have access to services such as bike registration and free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for their cars to help prevent theft.
The schedule includes several games, among them a distracted driving golf cart track where participants attempt to navigate the course with “drunk goggles” to simulate varying levels of intoxication and common distractions such as cell phones.
Additionally, ACPD officers have organized “15 Minutes Behind the Badge,” an interactive simulation in which participants will receive a crash course in police training, be outfitted in faux-gear and be dispatched to a staged call in the area.
There will also be a K-9 demonstration, child safety seat checks and, for the younger set of safety-inclined residents, a moon bounce.
Rocklands and Wegmans are providing free food and drink for attendees.
Washington says that more that 75 officers are expected to be in attendance, including some from other police departments.