September 19, 2014

"You Only Live Once" Teen Pedestrian Safety Program Launched

Officials attending the launch of the YOLO campaign included (left to right: 1st row: Councilmember Cherri Branson, School Board member Dr. Judith Docca, County Executive Ike Leggett, School Board V.P. Patricia O'Neill, Seneca Valley HS Principal Marc Cohen, mother of teen pedestrian victim Gwendolyn Ward, Council President Craig Rice and School Board member Rebecca Smondrowski. 2nd row: Transportation Director Art Holmes and Police Traffic Division Director Captain Tom Didone. 

The County has launched a new education program to reduce pedestrian crashes involving teens. Entitled YOLO (You Only Live Once), the campaign, developed by the Department of Transportation, includes a toolkit that will be distributed to every County high school to reduce students’ risks by reminding them not to walk while distracted.

The announcement was made by County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council President Craig Rice and Vice President Board of Education Vice President Patricia O’Neill at a news conference at Seneca Valley High School (SVHS) in Germantown. In October 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward, a SVHS student, was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to school. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, about half of students ages 15 to 19 say they use a cell phone when walking to school.

Each year, more than 400 crashes involving pedestrians occur on Montgomery County roadways. Teens ages 15 through 19 make up half of all underage pedestrian fatalities. I According to Safe Kids Worldwide, one in five high school teens cross the street while distracted by electronics.

Get more information about the YOLO and Walk Your Way campaigns.

Read more about the press event announcement.