PIKESVILLE, Md. – Maryland State Police are gearing up for the Halloween weekend with additional troopers on patrol using a variety of initiatives to urge both motorists and pedestrians to use common sense, take responsibility and be more courteous on Maryland’s roadways.
Between Thursday and Sunday, 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, especially during holiday seasons. Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
Along with DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints focused on high crash and impaired driving areas throughout the state, many barracks will also have community-specific efforts. This includes:
The Waterloo Barrack will be conducting a grant funded DUI checkpoint and saturation patrol. Troopers from the Westminster and Golden Ring Barrack (Central Troop) will also be assisting. There is also a joint initiative planned with the Howard County Police Department.
The Frederick Barrack will conduct a joint initiative on Sunday, Oct. 31, with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office with a focus on aggressive driving and related offenses to promote pedestrian safety.
The Cumberland Barrack will focus on impaired driving crashes and high crash areas along Interstate 68.
The Salisbury Barrack will be holding trick or treating events during its late and evening shifts to have an additional presence in the community and to promote safety. During the day, troopers will focus on aggressive driving and promoting pedestrian safety.
The North East Barrack will focus crash reduction and DUI enforcement efforts on US 40, MD 272 and MD 273. These are the areas that data shows have the most crashes and DUI arrests in their patrol area in Cecil County.
The Annapolis Barrack will be conducting DUI saturation patrols on US 50 and I-97 with a focus on hot spot areas for impaired driving in the area.
The Hagerstown Barrack will be conducting high visibility patrols during trick or treating events. Troopers will also be focusing on impaired drivers, distracted drivers and seat belt violators along Routes 11 and 40 and I-70.
The Glen Burnie Barrack will be patrolling high DUI and crash enforcement roads in Anne Arundel County. Troopers will also be patrolling secondary roads where trick or treaters will be gathering.
The College Park Barrack will focus its DUI saturation patrols on US 50 and I-495 with a focus on impaired drivers and high crash areas in Prince George’s County.
The Leonardtown Barrack will have proactive enforcement efforts to promote pedestrian safety. Troopers will also be participating in community trick or treating events to promote safety habits through education in St. Mary’s County.
The Princess Anne Barrack will be patrolling communities during peak trick or treating times with a focus on speeding and distracted driving.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team, otherwise known as the SPIDRE team, will also be out this week. The goal of the SPIDRE team is to focus on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
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.
Those using alcohol during upcoming celebrations are urged to make plans for a sober driver to take them home before they begin drinking. Multiple transportation options are available for those who will be drinking that keep them from behind the wheel.
It is estimated to cost someone arrested for impaired driving about $10,000 for legal fees, fines, lost wages and multiple other reasons. That cost is just for a simple arrest. If a crash is involved, the cost goes up exponentially, since a price cannot be placed on a life lost.
Here are some tips for both motorists and pedestrians to help reduce the chances of fatalities on Maryland roads:
Safety Tips for Drivers:
- Look for pedestrians walking along the roadway and at crossings and intersections.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks as required by Maryland law.
- Be careful passing stopped vehicles. If a car is stopped at a marked crosswalk, stop and look for crossing pedestrians as required by Maryland law.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
- Yield to pedestrians when turning.
- Use extra caution at night when it may be harder to see pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians:
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, always walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and at intersections. Many pedestrian crashes occur at midblock locations where drivers do not expect pedestrians.
- Obey traffic signals, including pedestrian signals.
- Before crossing, look left, right and left again to make sure you can cross safely.
- Look before stepping past stopped vehicles. They may be blocking your view of moving traffic.
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather. Help drivers see you by wearing retro-reflective material in low lighting conditions. This includes those wearing costumes while trick-or-treating.
- Use caution around any vehicle backing out of parking spaces and driveways.