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Thread: What to do with video of dangerous driver at signaled crosswalk in Arlington?

  1. #1
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    Default What to do with video of dangerous driver at signaled crosswalk in Arlington?

    Good morning everyone, I could use some forum wisdom about what to do with video of a really dangerous traffic violation.

    This morning I was riding with my 8 year old to school. We dismount and use the beg button to cross Glebe Road at 9th St South on foot. It is part of the County's "bike boulevard" running parallel to Columbia Pike. Pushing the beg button activates blinking lights that cars can see from a block away.

    Our routine is that my kid gets to push the button. While he's doing that, I get out my phone and start recording video. I do this every time we cross. I've found that holding up my phone so that drivers can see I'm recording our crossing encourages them to stop for the blinking lights. This morning, it didn't work.

    After we had already crossed the median, a driver accelerated, swerved and changed lanes, passing with a couple feet in front of us. He blasted through the crosswalk after the lights had been blinking for awhile. In my 20 years of riding a bike in Arlington, it was the closest call I've ever had. I captured the entire incident in one unbroken video clip, from the time my son pushed the beg button to the car speeding away. I have the driver's face, the car's make and model, and his license plate.

    My question is, what is the most effective use of this video? I will report the incident to the police, so that I can say I did. I'm sorry to be cynical, but I don't really expect that will accomplish anything; the police will just say they didn't witness anything themselves. I'm not sure providing police video of the incident would change that. Honestly, I wonder if I need to give this video to someone more important than me. I'm just a nobody on a bike with his kid. To be clear, I don't want to "dox" anyone but this driver's actions are how children get killed on their way to school.

    Ultimately, I do hope the driver is ticketed. But my larger aim is that videos like this one would lead to more enforcement and public awareness of pedestrian safety.

    What's the most productive course of action here?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    What's the most productive course of action here?
    Stop donating to AAA and other members of the car lobby.

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    I just wanted to share that the county is proposing to add a project to its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to upgrade the Glebe & 9th St intersection, including adding a full traffic signal. That plan is in draft form, there will be a public hearing at the end of June and then a final plan will be adopted in July.

    This project was one of the priorities we rode for at Bike4ThePike back in 2018 and it's great to see some potential progress on it.

    One positive potential use of the video is emailing it to the County Board along with a note about the dangers you have experienced at this intersection and encouraging them to move this project up in the Capital plan to happen faster (though I'm not 100% clear on its current schedule, to be honest).

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    I just wanted to share that the county is proposing to add a project to its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to upgrade the Glebe & 9th St intersection, including adding a full traffic signal. That plan is in draft form, there will be a public hearing at the end of June and then a final plan will be adopted in July.

    This project was one of the priorities we rode for at Bike4ThePike back in 2018 and it's great to see some potential progress on it.

    One positive potential use of the video is emailing it to the County Board along with a note about the dangers you have experienced at this intersection and encouraging them to move this project up in the Capital plan to happen faster (though I'm not 100% clear on its current schedule, to be honest).
    Thank you Chris, I think I will email the video to the County Board and ask them to expedite this project.

  7. #5
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    Full traffic light: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md...rians-injured/

    More traffic lights aren't going to fix this sort of thing, only redesigning roads to reduce conflicts and lower speeds while changing the culture to make speeding and aggressive driving unacceptable can fix this. But that's unlikely to happen as pedestrian safety is not a priority in this country.

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    Agree, it won't fix it. However, I do think a traffic light in this location would be more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians, and relatively safer than the current lighted crosswalk, which most drivers feel free to ignore.

    FWIW, I did file a police report. I called the non-emergency number and they advised me to file an online report. I told them I looked into that and none of the category options were related to pedestrian or cyclist safety. Half of them were property crimes involving vehicles. I would've thought keeping children safe from reckless drivers might be as important as recovering stolen airbags and pocket change, but I guess not.

    Dispatch said, "I know" when I told them about the categories and suggested I file my report under "suspicious circumstances." I did so and described upfront that this was not a case of suspicious circumstances, but clear video evidence of failure to yield and reckless driving. I was able to input license plate and VIN info, so hopefully my report is taken seriously.

    I will be updating this post to note progress, or lack thereof.
    Last edited by EasyRider; 06-09-2022 at 09:04 AM.

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  10. #7
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    #EasyRider, keep us updated. I agree, a full traffic light should be considered here, especially since the new hi-rise on the old Westmont site is going to add to population and traffic volume. It requires patience & alertness in tandem to cross half-safely here.

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    Send it to Dave Statter. Hes a retired reporter from Channel 9, a former volunteer firefighter, and runs a website, Statter911. He posts all sorts of videos of near misses and stupid drivers on I-395 as well as calls out local 911 services (DC) and other actions that endanger resident safety. Most of the stuff on his website is fire department-related, but he lives here in Arlington and is a rabble-rouser for safety. Might be worth a try.

    https://www.statter911.com/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    Good morning everyone, I could use some forum wisdom about what to do with video of a really dangerous traffic violation.

    This morning I was riding with my 8 year old to school. We dismount and use the beg button to cross Glebe Road at 9th St South on foot. It is part of the County's "bike boulevard" running parallel to Columbia Pike. Pushing the beg button activates blinking lights that cars can see from a block away.

    Our routine is that my kid gets to push the button. While he's doing that, I get out my phone and start recording video. I do this every time we cross. I've found that holding up my phone so that drivers can see I'm recording our crossing encourages them to stop for the blinking lights. This morning, it didn't work.

    After we had already crossed the median, a driver accelerated, swerved and changed lanes, passing with a couple feet in front of us. He blasted through the crosswalk after the lights had been blinking for awhile. In my 20 years of riding a bike in Arlington, it was the closest call I've ever had. I captured the entire incident in one unbroken video clip, from the time my son pushed the beg button to the car speeding away. I have the driver's face, the car's make and model, and his license plate.

    My question is, what is the most effective use of this video? I will report the incident to the police, so that I can say I did. I'm sorry to be cynical, but I don't really expect that will accomplish anything; the police will just say they didn't witness anything themselves. I'm not sure providing police video of the incident would change that. Honestly, I wonder if I need to give this video to someone more important than me. I'm just a nobody on a bike with his kid. To be clear, I don't want to "dox" anyone but this driver's actions are how children get killed on their way to school.

    Ultimately, I do hope the driver is ticketed. But my larger aim is that videos like this one would lead to more enforcement and public awareness of pedestrian safety.

    What's the most productive course of action here?
    Video would be more useful convincing transportation planners that they've implemented ROW crosswalks across multi-lane roads inrcorrectly. There are no zig zag shoulder lines. In Europe the zig zags declare the zone a no passing zone; do not pass stopped vehicles (because they're stopped for a good reason). Without the zig zags the oncoming car in the far lane sees a stopped car in the near lane for no apparent reason and enjoys the pass and getting ahead. Except for the pedestrians in the crosswalk blocked from line of sight because of the stopped car.

    ROW crosswalks over multi-lane roads without zigzags is a tragedy waiting to happen. And also too, teach Amercian drivers what the zig zag means.

    Scariest thing I ever witnessed was seeing a woman crosswalk across Wilson courtesy of a car stopped in the near lane. Tow truck flying up the far lane not seeing or knowing a thing. Lady stepped into the far lane. Tow truck stood on the brakes and stopped with an inch to spare. Woman got to far curb and just collapsed hysterically sobbing. It was that close.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    Video would be more useful convincing transportation planners that they've implemented ROW crosswalks across multi-lane roads inrcorrectly.
    But it won't convince them of that because the only metrics they use are things like "how many cars can pass this spot in an hour". Anything that slows down cars is a negative impact to the metrics. Until we manage to force them to use metrics like "do people feel safe walking here" and prioritize those metrics higher than vehicle level of service, they aren't going to change.

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