Editor: First, my sympathies go out to the family of the tragic accident in Lansdowne last week. This is a serious problem in our neighborhoods in Loudoun County.
I run, bike and walk with our two little kids and constantly see people not paying attention while driving. On several occasions, if we did not stop, even though we had the right of way, we would have been hit.
We need stricter enforcement along with residents reporting these distracted drivers to the authorities. I believe a major cause for distracted drivers is cell phones. According to the article, I have not seen whether the man driving the vehicle was on his cell phone, but I find it deplorable that he could not see a person walking. I would like to see an investigation with answers. But the bottom-line, we need to make our county safe again for pedestrians.
We can do this by having the VDOT install more crosswalks with flashing lights along with signs in the middle of cross walks that say: “State Law, Stop For Pedestrians.”
I am shocked our county does not have more of these signs. Furthermore, the problem is compounded by VDOT not adequately marking our roads and installing preventive measures, like lights at crosswalks or even stoplights to allow our families to cross safely. One prime example is on Ashburn Village Boulevard by the Ashburn Sports Pavilion. Several years ago, after contacting our county supervisors to paint a crosswalk and add signs there, I wrote to the governor’s office and my request was passed to the appropriate people to have the signs installed.
The problem today is that those signs do not really stop drivers. They do not yield to pedestrians. I urge this media outlet along with my fellow Loudoun residents to write to the governor to have actual stop lights that pedestrians can press to stop traffic while they walk.
I want our county to be the safest, pedestrian-friendly community in Northern Virginia and we must work as a unified community to address pedestrian safety along with distracted drivers.
Jason Mello, Ashburn