Montgomery County Police to step up pedestrian safety patrols

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP/ABC7) - Police in Montgomery County say they're enforcing pedestrian safety this month.

Officers from the department's traffic division conducted a "sting" at a previously undisclosed intersection Wednesday. Police launched the sting after getting a lot of complaints from pedestrians who said they were having trouble getting across the street.

"You have to run like this..., because it is scary for you," said Wheaton resident Maria Rodriguez.

The law dictates that drivers stop for pedestrians, but a lot of drivers whiz by waiting walkers.

"It's pretty difficult. The cars usually don't stop; and if one lane stops, some of the other lanes don't stop," explained Melissa Dreyfus, also of Wheaton.

The officers were out from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in bright-colored clothing and issued citations to drivers who did not yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Some 72 drivers were ticketed, including Silver Spring resident Charlotte Otabor.

"Here is a ticket for $80, yup," Otabar said. "I'm gonna stop, yeah, and wait."

Police focused on Viers Mill Wednesday, but the department says officers will be conducting a series of similar stings throughout the month.