(PIKESVILLE, MD) – With extra traffic expected this Memorial Day weekend, additional Maryland State Police troopers will be on patrol and using a variety of initiatives to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.
Beginning Friday, troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks statewide will be focusing enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies. Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.
Troopers from the JFK Highway Barrack patrol I-95 from north of Baltimore to the Delaware line. They will focus on distracted driving and minimizing delays caused by crashes and traffic violations. Troopers will also be working high visibility patrols and assisting travelers moving through the state.
Troopers from the Golden Ring, North East, Westminster and Bel Air barracks will all be conducting DUI saturation patrols in their counties. Increased patrols will occur from Friday through Memorial Day.
The Frederick, Hagerstown, Cumberland, and McHenry barracks are deploying extra troopers along I-70 and I-68, with the largest number of troopers working during the peak travel times. Troopers working other interstates will focus on keeping traffic moving and assisting motorists who need help.
Troopers on the Eastern Shore will be directing their heaviest enforcement to Rt. 50 and Rt. 13. Impaired driving and speed enforcement will be the priorities there. Drivers, especially those headed to Ocean City, are urged to be on constant alert for pedestrians. Pedestrians are reminded to use crosswalks, obey traffic control devices and dress for visibility.
Troopers from the Rockville, Forestville and College Park Barrack will have increased patrols on U.S. Rt. 301, I-495, I-95 and I-270. They are joining troopers across the state in reminding motorists of the ‘move over’ law. Drivers approaching police, fire, EMS, or tow trucks on the side of the road must move over to an adjacent lane if possible, or slow down as they pass the scene. This provides an extra barrier of safety for police and emergency personnel working at the scene of a crash, disabled vehicle, or traffic stop.
Troopers from the La Plata, Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick barracks will be conducting DUI saturation patrols in their counties. Increased patrols will occur from Friday through Memorial Day.
In addition to working enforcement in cooperation with local police departments, troopers will be working closely with personnel from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration. SHA provides significant help arranging detours at crash sites and conducting courtesy patrols to assist motorists.
Drivers can check travel conditions and delays before traveling. SHA provides up-to-date traffic and road conditions at roads.maryland.gov, or chart.state.md.us. Traffic conditions are also available at md511.org, or by safely dialing 511 on your cell phone.
According to AAA, there will be a projected 36.6 million travelers on the highways for the Memorial Day weekend holiday, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2017 and the highest number in the past decade. The majority of this traffic flow will occur on Thursday and Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show an average of 312 fatal accidents per year over the Memorial Day weekend, making it the deadliest holiday in the United States. The Maryland Department of Transportation reports that one-third of all impaired driving crashes in Maryland occur in the Washington Metro area and 56 percent of all impaired crashes occur between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
Troopers are urging travelers not to drive distracted and to make traffic safety their first priority whenever they are behind the wheel. Help us keep Maryland highways safe throughout this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
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