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  • Smith, Yvonne (MPD)
    From the MPDC.DC.GOV News Room Monday, June 20, 2005 Media Advisory: Street Closings for Caribbean Parade and Festival On Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2005
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      From the MPDC.DC.GOV News Room

      Monday, June 20, 2005

      Media Advisory: Street Closings for Caribbean Parade and Festival

      On Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, 2005, the District of Columbia will host the Caribbean Parade and Festival. The parade will start at 10 am at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Missouri Avenue, NW.

      On Saturday, June 25th, the following streets will be closed from 6 am until 8 pm:

      • Georgia Avenue NW, from the 2000 block to the 5800 block;
      • Streets that intersect with Georgia Avenue, between Euclid and V Street, NW

      The parade route begins in the 5800 block of Georgia Avenue, NW. Marchers will head south on Georgia Avenue to Barry Place, NW and then go west on Barry to 9th Street. From there, they will go north onto 9th Street onto Banneker Field where they will disband into the festival area.

      On Sunday, June 26, 2005, the following streets will be closed from 6 am until 8 pm:

      • Georgia Avenue, NW, from the 2000 block to the 2800 block;
      • Streets that intersect with Georgia Avenue, between Euclid and V Street, NW

      Tuesday, June 21, 2005

      Rising Temperatures = Rising Tempers
      DC, MD an VA Law Enforcement Crack Down on Aggressive Driving

      Campaign Continues to Highlight Dangers of Driving Aggressively in the Summer Months

      For Immediate Release
      Contact: Kelly Indrieri or Kristin Lawton at 202-289-2001

      Washington, DC (June 21, 2005) – With summer officially beginning today, local law enforcement officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia came together to announce their continued commitment to combating aggressive driving during the summer months. At a news conference this morning at the Second District Washington Metropolitan Police Department officials with the Smooth Operator campaign reminded residents “We’re tough on aggressive drivers!”

      The first day of summer means more children playing outdoors, away from the protection of a school classroom, an influx of tourists crowding the sidewalks and construction activities ramp up and slowing down traffic. The hot days of summer often leads to hot-headed driving with a dramatic increase in aggressive driving, speeding injuries and fatalities during the summer months – especially July. Coupled with the fact that the DC metropolitan area and Baltimore are among the top 20 most congested regions in the country, the summer months can be a very dangerous time on the roads.

      “By itself, aggressive driving is dangerous enough. Add factors like highway construction, school being out and hot temperatures to the mix and you have a recipe for potential disaster,” said Captain Jesse Bowman, Commander, Traffic Division, Fairfax County Police. “Drivers must slow down and drive more attentively when going through work zones and residential areas during the summer. But if they don’t, officers will be out in force citing them for their dangerous driving.”

      Smooth Operator is also getting tough on speeding, which is almost always a factor in aggressive driving incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, killing an average of 1,000 Americans every month.

      Summer is also the season of highway construction entailing lane shifts, shoulder closures, temporary detours and unexpected slowdowns. In Maryland, traffic-affecting work continues on the Baltimore beltway and the Route 29 expansion. In Virginia, the Springfield Interchange construction will continue throughout the summer. Additionally, this summer’s construction impacts at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge are expected to be the most severe of the 11-year construction project. Law enforcement will be heavy through work zones so drivers need to keep their cool.

      The Smooth Operator campaign consists of four separate waves. The first wave from May 22-28, 2005 proved to be very successful with 55,189 citations and warnings written for various driving violations, including speeding, running red lights, and non-compliance with safety belt laws. The second wave of law enforcement is taking place right now. From June 19-25 more than 80 participating law enforcement agencies will be looking out for aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, running red light and stop signs, improper passing and other dangerous driving maneuvers. Last year alone, citations during four enforcement waves totaled more than 260,000 – a fourfold increase from the 62,000 issued in the initial year.

      About Smooth Operator
      Eighteen Washington area law enforcement agencies launched Smooth Operator in 1997, targeting motorists who drove aggressively. By 1999, the coalition had grown to include elected officials and representatives from government agencies, private sector organizations, and law enforcement agencies from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. To enhance the annual law enforcement efforts, public awareness campaigns and research began in 2000 and formed a cooperative interstate effort that is unique among the law enforcement groups and organizations involved.
      10 Basic Rules of Courtesy and Safety
      • Always allow extra travel time. Traffic congestion–and the delays it causes–are 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.
      • Maintain an adequate distance from the vehicle in front of you so you're able to stop in time to avoid a collision. A "safe distance" depends on a variety of factors: weather, road conditions, time of day, and speed limit. In general, you should maintain one car-length between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph of speed.
      • Always signal your intentions to other drivers when turning and changing lanes.
      • Always come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. Don't run yellow lights.
      • Let other drivers merge with you.
      • Obey posted speed limits.
      • Concentrate on your driving–not on your cell phone, stereo, passengers, or other distractions.
      • Use your horn sparingly, only to remind other drivers of your presence.
      • Never engage in inappropriate behavior such as making faces or rude or obscene gestures.
      • Extend common courtesy to other drivers at all times.

      Smooth Operator Enforcement

      For 2005, dozens of law enforcement agencies from the District, Maryland and Virginia are cooperating in intensive, one- to two-week aggressive driving enforcement "waves" - one each month from May through August. These special enforcement waves are in addition to their everyday traffic safety efforts.

      Smooth Operator is also supported by many other local government agencies, as well as organizations from the private sector. And enforcement efforts are complemented by a comprehensive public education campaign that includes radio ads and transit posters.

      Since Smooth Operator began in 1997, well over 900,000 citations for aggressive driving have been issued by participating law enforcement agencies during the special enforcement waves. Citations have nearly quadrupled during this time period - from 62,000 in 1997 to more than 238,000 in 2002. In 2004, DC alone was responsible for more than 53,000 citations. As enforcement and public education activities have increased, public awareness of Smooth Operator has also doubled: from 38 percent in 2000 to approximately 80 percent in recent years.

      The 2005 Smooth Operator enforcement waves are tentatively scheduled for the following four weeks:

      • May 15-28
      • June 20-26
      • July 18-24
      • August 22-September 4 

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