Hurray for D.C.! The editorial "Now You Can Cross the Street" {Oct. 8} was good news for pedestrians. I hope the suburbs will follow suit.

Like many pedestrians, I have stood five, 10 or more minutes waiting at crosswalks, even those with a green light or "WALK" sign. I always cross a street saying a prayer that I reach the other side in one piece. I have been honked at, insulted and nearly killed on many occasions.

It appears that motorists need to be reeducated about pedestrians' rights. If public outrage brought the buses back to Wheaton Plaza, maybe action by suburban enforcement agencies and activist groups can bring safety to pedestrians. It will take both driver courtesy and jurisdictions with the guts to protect their walking citizens to make our roadways, intersections and even parking lots safe crossing areas. This must happen soon -- before a motorist knocks down his own grandparent or a parent with a baby in a stroller.

The District has led the way. I hope Maryland and Virginia will begin vigorously enforcing pedestrian rights. ALICE POPKIN Rockville

In its editorial on the District's new pedestrian law, The Post quotes the D.C. Council's Committee on the Judiciary, which said that one purpose of the new law is to "change the driving habits of motorists in the District of Columbia."

In 1912, the Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Indiana remarked that motorists haven't learned how to drive automobiles and pedestrians haven't learned how to dodge them. It will take more than laws to modify drivers' behavior, even with stepped-up enforcement.

I suggest that reminders of the traffic laws be repetitively communicated to drivers and pedestrians through various media as a public service.

For example, radio stations could include the traffic laws in their public announcements. One announcement might be: "Are you now exceeding the speed limit?" Or "Are you yielding the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk?" And so on. What I have in mind is reaching drivers who do not regularly read the newspapers, but who do listen constantly to their blaring car radios. These announcements would also reach home radio listeners. Newspapers could print in a conspicuous place reminders of the traffic laws. Television could also participate.

Finally, I suggest that people drive as they did when they passed the test to obtain their driver's license. HYMAN L. RASKIN Silver Spring