Photo Credit: Lenin Nolly
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chief Robert J. Contee, III of the Metropolitan Police Department, and District Department of Transportation Interim Director Everett Lott announced new traffic safety enhancements around schools.
“Ensuring our young people have everything they need to succeed means keeping them safe before, during, and after school. Whether that’s through Safe Passage, through the shuttle bus program, or through enhanced traffic enforcement, we know it’s a community-wide effort,” said Mayor Bowser. “We also know that our young people have a unique perspective on what’s happening in our city and incorporating their insights and their perspectives into our work are critical to building a safer, stronger DC. I encourage our young people to share their ideas and make their voices heard at the upcoming Youth Summit.”
On Monday, November 29, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) began conducting a traffic safety campaign targeting safety in school zones. In concert with the District’s Vision Zero Initiative, MPD’s Traffic Safety and Specialized Enforcement Section has developed a plan to target traffic enforcement and education in the areas around schools in each police district.
The goal of this focused enforcement is to provide additional safety measures in school zones for all drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians during high-pedestrian traffic times. Seven MPD officers will be assigned focused enforcement and education around school zones. The safety enforcement will take place three hours prior to school arrival time and three hours after dismissal time. Officers will be focused on distracted driving, speeding, stop sign violations, and pedestrian violations. Additionally, School Resource Officers will distribute traffic safety literature to roadway users in the school areas to remind residents to slow down and follow the rules of the road.
The Mayor also highlighted the Metropolitan Police Department’s upcoming Youth Summit that is taking place on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Eastern High School. The Summit, facilitated by MPD and George Washington University, will build upon the wealth of experiences and knowledge that the youth of the District have acquired during their in-school and out-of-school experiences. The Youth Summit will allow young people to engage in open dialogue regarding the problems they face in their individual communities, allowing MPD to gain first-hand knowledge on how our youth believe the Metropolitan Police Department can be more effective in addressing racial, social, and economic disparities and inequities within their communities.
“The summit is not intended for us adults to just give information and tools to our youth, but rather to provide a space for us to listen to the concerns of our young people, and to hear their ideas and solutions,” said Chief Robert J. Contee, III. “There is a diversity of opinion among our youth and what the role of the police should be, and this summit will elevate those voices.”
The Youth Summit is designed for student leaders within the District of Columbia to meet and develop strategies to address the aforementioned issues plaguing our communities at alarming rates. It affords police officers the opportunity to learn more about what young people experience in the places they spend most of their time and to provide young people with the skills and knowledge to make a positive change. Youth interested in attending can do so by signing up here.