PIKESVILLE, MD – With extra traffic expected this Memorial Day weekend, additional Maryland state 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.
Last Memorial Day weekend, troopers conducted 7,496 traffic stops, made 121 DUI arrests, 40 criminal arrests and 66 warrant arrests. State police also issued 1,840 speeding citations, 188 seat belt citations, 3,009 additional citations and 4,420 warnings over last year’s holiday weekend, which spanned from May 25 to 28, 2018. Troopers also responded to 371 crashes, including two that were fatal over that span.
This year’s holiday weekend also coincides with the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign that has troopers and other law enforcement agencies focusing on seat belt enforcement efforts. The effort also included an additional focus on enforcement of “Move Over” laws. On May 16, a day where law enforcement specifically targeted such enforcement, Maryland State Police issued 77 citations and 372 warnings to Move Over law violators.
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. MDOT SHA provides significant help arranging detours at crash sites and conducting courtesy patrols to assist motorists.
According to AAA, an estimated 918,000 Marylanders are planning a getaway for Memorial Day weekend, including 819,000 who plan to drive to their destination. This represents a 3.4 percent increase in travelers from a year ago.
With so many motorists expected to be on the road, 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.
Every year more than 160 lives are lost and thousands more are injured in Maryland in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Please don’t drink and drive this weekend.
If you are attending a Memorial Day gathering:
- Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
- If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
- Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
- Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
- If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
- Always buckle up.
- Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a Memorial Day gathering:
- Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
- Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
- Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.