Awful Pedestrian Shaming Campaign Gets the Smackdown It Deserves

Montgomery County, Maryland, used this ill-considered poster to blame pedestrians who are hit by cars. Photo: Montgomery County
Montgomery County, Maryland, thought this was a good public safety message. Photo: Montgomery County

This PSA from Montgomery County, Maryland, has got to be one of the all-time worst examples of pedestrian shaming. The young girl with tire treads across her face, it’s implied, was struck and killed by a driver because she was “wearing black.”

The message was the county’s response to two recent pedestrian fatalities. According to the county, police will be ticketing drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who break laws. The victim-blaming posters combined with the everyone-gets-fined approach to enforcement tells us this “safety campaign” won’t make pedestrians any safer.

On Twitter, Colin Browne succinctly summed up what’s wrong with Montgomery County’s approach:

Can Montgomery County replace its campaign imagery with Colin’s version?

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