(PIKESVILLE, MD) – As part of a national effort to reduce an increase in traffic fatalities, Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, has directed troopers to increase their efforts to reduce traffic crashes through enforcement this weekend.
Each of the 22 Maryland State Police barracks will deploy special patrols this weekend to reduce crashes in their areas of responsibility. Nationally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities are up 13.5 percent for the first quarter of 2012. In Maryland, there was an increase of 6 percent. From January 1, 2011 to July 23, 2011, there were 239 fatalities on Maryland roads. During the same period this year, there were 251 fatalities. Additional crash reduction enforcement initiatives will be conducted throughout 2012.
Aggressive drivers, speed violators, distracted drivers, impaired drivers and seatbelt violators will be the focus for Maryland state troopers, particularly in high crash areas throughout the state. State Police crash data reveals the following highways as key roads for the crash reduction efforts: Interstate 695 and Interstate 83 in Baltimore County, Interstate 495 in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, Interstate 70 in Baltimore, Howard, and Frederick counties and U.S. Route 301 in Prince George’s County. Barracks serving other parts of the state will be conducting enforcement efforts in key areas identified locally as having a high number of crashes.
“This is a statewide public safety concern and we believe focusing our attention on those areas prone to motor vehicle crashes will lead to safer travel for all motorists,” Colonel Marcus L. Brown said. “This enforcement initiative is an effective means of preventing a raise of motor vehicle crashes in Maryland. Our troopers will be out in force specifically targeting aggressive and distracted drivers, speed violators, impaired drivers, and those not wearing their seatbelts.”
The crash reduction enforcement initiative is part of the Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan, or SHSP, is a statewide, comprehensive safety plan designed to reduce crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries by sharing resources and targeting efforts to the areas of greatest need. Partners in the SHSP include the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Motor Vehicle Administration and the Maryland Highway Safety Office. The Maryland State Police, in cooperation with local law enforcement, is supporting the enforcement component of the plan.
The goal of the SHSP is to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and crashes in Maryland. Troopers plan to achieve this goal by deterring motorists from speeding and engaging in poor driving practices with aggressive enforcement and zero tolerance for traffic violations.
The Maryland State Police remind motorists to avoid aggressive driving behavior, to obey the speed limit, to be attentive drivers, avoid driving while impaired, and to make sure all occupants are wearing seatbelts or are in child safety seats in the vehicle. A driver’s effort may save their life or the life of another.