(WJLA) - The end of Daylight Saving Time may mean sunny awakenings, but with an hour less of daylight during the evening commute comes limited visibility, which tends to lead to an increase in crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.
In 2012, 72 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in crashes in the region, according to Street Smart, a semi-annual public education and enforcement campaign sponsored by the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths.
There were over 400 crashes involving pedestrians in November and December alone.
As the days get shorter and more commuters head home during the darker evening hours, regional safety officials are encouraging all drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to stay alert and to share the road.
"We all have to work together to improve safety in our region, particularly now that it's getting dark by the time many people are making their evening commutes," says Chuck Bean, the executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Police will step up patrol through Nov. 24, ticketing drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who violate traffic safety laws. Fines can range from $40 to $500. Thinking about jaywalking? It'll cost you.