Pedestrian and bicycle safety

Sidewalks3_FeetThe District of Columbia and surrounding jurisdictions are united against bicycle and pedestrian tragedies. In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed nationwide and an estimated 66,000 were injured in traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. Additionally in 2013, 743 bicyclists were killed nationwide and an additional 48,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2%of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

In the Washington Metropolitan region, there were 66 pedestrians and 7 bicyclists fatalities in 2013 accounting for 27% of the traffic fatalities in the region.. In the District of Columbia alone, pedestrians make up more than 40% of the total number of people killed in traffic accidents.

Below are some of the safety initiatives in the District of Columbia for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers:

  • Countdown pedestrian signals have been installed in more than 95 percent of DC’s 1,550 signalized intersections over the last five years, more than any other U.S. city.


  • The fine for drivers who fail to stop and give right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks is $250 and 3 points. If a driver strikes a pedestrian in the process of failing to stop, the penalty is $500 and 6 points.
  • Any cyclist under 16 years of age cannot operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or any attachment to a bicycle without a helmet on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other right-of-way in the District of Columbia.
  • The District Department of Transportation and Washington Area Bicyclists Association train thousands of children and others on pedestrian and bike safety every year.
  • The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) targets drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians along high crash corridors and high pedestrian traffic locations as part of Street Smart enforcement waves every year. Additionally MPD enforces driving rules to all roadway uses through their Driving, Biking and Walking Rules campaign .


  • It is illegal for a driver to make a right turn in front of a bus that is stopped at an intersection to receive or discharge passengers. Violators are subject to a fine of at least $100.