Street Smart is an annual public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign in the Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia area. Since its beginning in 2002, the campaign has used radio, newspaper, and transit advertising, public awareness efforts, and added law enforcement to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
The Street Smart program emphasizes education of motorists and pedestrians through mass media. It is meant to complement, not replace, the efforts of state and local governments and agencies to build safer streets and sidewalks, enforce laws, and train better drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The program is coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), and is supported by federal funds made available through state governments, and funding from some TPB member jurisdictions.
For more information on the the Street Smart campaign contact Michael Farrell, Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-962-3760.
The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Problem
A National Problem:
- In 2014, 4,884 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists died in traffic crashes nationwide, accounting for 17.2 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- An estimated 65,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes across the country.
- Seventy-two percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred during nighttime hours.
- Download national fact sheet
- In 2015, there were 69 pedestrian and 3 bicyclist fatalities, accounting for 28.7 percent of the 261 traffic fatalities in the Washington region.
- Police in the District of Columbia, northern Virginia, and Maryland will be cracking down on drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists from April 11 – May 8, issuing warnings and citations to those who violate the traffic safety laws that keep people walking and biking safe—fines range from $40 to $500.
Supporting the mass media and public awareness campaign is a region-wide enforcement initiative. The DC Metropolitan Police Department and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board have stepped up efforts to share information on best practices in pedestrian enforcement with line officers. A standardized enforcement reporting form has improved our knowledge of the number and types of citations being issued.
Street Smart public awareness efforts are conducted in conjunction with increased law enforcement “waves,” in which police put an added emphasis on enforcing their presence and the existing laws regarding roadway safety. This multi-pronged strategy that has been shown to compound public safety campaign results and positively affect behavior.
Street Smart has conducted pre- and post-campaign surveys on all campaigns since 2002. This research is used to measure issue awareness and attitudes among drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. It also surveys awareness of the Street Smart campaign and its messages.
To read a summary of all results from the fiscal year 2015, please download our annual report (pdf, 2.1MB).