Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Woman Dies As A Result of Hit-and-Run Injuries

22 year old Danny Elizabeth Alay-Mateo died Tuesday morning as a result of her injuries in a hit-and-run in the Piney Branch area of Silver Spring. Police are continuing their investigation into the fatal pedestrian collision. They need the public's help.  Emphasis in bold font is mine. Here's the release from Montgomery County Police:

Piney Branch Pedestrian Collision Now Being Investigated as a Fatal

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) are continuing to investigate a serious pedestrian hit-and-run collision that occurred in the Piney Branch area of Silver Spring.

This morning at 10:30 a.m., the pedestrian, Danny Elizabeth Alay-Mateo, succumbed to her injuries at an area trauma center. She was 22-years-old and resided in the 9100 block of September Lane in Silver Spring.

On September 25 at 8:13 p.m., 3rd District officers and fire/rescue personnel responded to the 8700 block of Carroll Avenue for the report of a pedestrian struck. The preliminary investigation revealed that for unknown reasons, Alay-Mateo was in the northbound portion of the roadway of the 8700 block of Carroll Avenue. For reasons still under investigation, a dark colored vehicle struck her and failed to stop and remain at the scene.

The description of the striking vehicle is a 1994-998 GMC Jimmy, Chevy S-10 pick-up truck, Chevy Blazer, or Oldsmobile Bravada. The vehicle could possibly have minimal damage to the right front headlight, the hood, and/or the windshield. The right side exterior mirror was located at the scene and the plastic housing compartment is believed to still be attached to the vehicle.

Detectives have interviewed several witnesses, but would like to hear from anyone else who may have information about this collision and/or the suspect responsible. Those persons are asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Road Rules: A Change, And A Chat With Peter Moe

Who is Peter Moe? He's Maryland State Highway Administration's Bicycle Safety Coordinator. Didn't know Maryland had one? Don't feel bad, it was news to WTOP's own Bob Marbourg, Dean of Washington Traffic reporters.

WTOP talked to Moe about Maryland's new rules of the road regarding cyclists. These are rules drivers need to be aware of and cyclists need to keep in mind as they travel the roadways.

One law welcomed by cyclists is the 'three foot rule'. Moe explains what that means for drivers. "What you need to do now in the state of Maryland is give bicyclists at least three feet of space when overtaking them."

Another change repeals the law that basically forced cyclists to stick to the shoulder of roadways. Why shouldn't cyclists be required to stay on the shoulder? "Because sometimes on that shoulder, there may be debris or obstacles that a cyclist has to avoid in order to travel safely." Moe says the repeal of the law means that cyclists now have some discretion. They can stay on the shoulder if they feel safest there, but can now 'take the lane' on the road if they prefer. Isn't that having it both ways? Many drivers feel bikes should not be on state roads in the first place. Moe says the law is on the side of the cyclist. "You can and should expect to see bicyclists on any roadway, apart from our interstates. Bikes are considered a legal vehicle, and they have a right to the roadway."

But Moe adds, they have responsibilites that come along with those rights: they are required to obey all traffic laws. And yes, that means stopping at red lights and at stop signs. "That's really for eveyone's benefit. For the bicyclist and for the motorist." It's the predictability, the understanding that you can expect the other guy to do the expected thing that helps keep everyone safer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Roads: There's More to Know About Sharing Them...

If you felt that the people responsible for doing things like building the Inter County Connector just don't pay attention to bikes and cyclists, this might comfort you. Here's the release from the Maryland State Highway Administration, and listen to my interview with Peter Moe from the Maryland State Highway Administration this weekend on WTOP, 103.5 fm/103.9fm/107.7fm.


New Bicycle Laws Take Effect Today