Leaders in Fairfax County, Virginia, have reached out to the public with a message urging drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to stop and “take a moment” to improve road safety.
“It’s a team effort,” Jeff McKay, chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, said Tuesday.
McKay said the goal of the message is to “get people in the community to just take a moment while they’re on our roads, trails and sidewalks to be aware of what’s around them.”
He urged drivers and cyclists to even take a moment to look each other in the eye.
“These things are very important, and they literally make for a safer community,” McKay said.
To underscore the warning, McKay was joined by county resident Steve Steiner, who told the story of being hit by a car while riding his bicycle, a driver making a right turn at an intersection.
“I realized the driver wasn’t looking at me,” Steiner said. “I shouted to get the driver’s attention and tried to avoid the car by swerving to the right, but to no avail.”
Steiner’s bicycle was crushed by the front bumper of the car.
“I flew off the motorcycle and bounced off the windshield,” Steiner said. “I had a concussion, several broken ribs and major internal injuries.”
It was a traumatic and expensive experience that resulted in over $100,000 in medical bills.
“While I was recovering from my injuries, I thought a lot about what I could do to prevent another cyclist or pedestrian from repeating my experience,” Steiner said.
“My hope and prayer for our community is that people will start to seize the moment,” McKay said.
The county is looking to invest in infrastructure, allocating $100 million over the next six years to improve pedestrian safety, McKay said.
“We put our money where our mouth is,” McKay said.