BALTIMORE, MD—As the unofficial end to summer approaches, Maryland State Police will be on extra alert in search of impaired, distracted and/or aggressive drivers this Labor Day weekend to ensure travelers get to their holiday destination safely.
Beginning Thursday through Labor Day, authorities say state troopers will be on patrol, 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.
Troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks will focus 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.
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.
Troopers from the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort (SPIDRE) will be working through the weekend. These specially trained and experienced troopers focus predominantly on locating and arresting impaired drivers. This team is funded through a grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, an average of 145 people died from impaired driving crashes, 159 died from distracted driving crashes and 32 from aggressive driving crashes annually from 2014-2018 in the state. Over the same span, an average of 2,124 people were injured by impaired drivers, 17,908 were injured as a result of distracted driving and 1,550 were injured by aggressive drivers in Maryland.
Motorists are reminded they can report dangerous drivers traveling on Maryland interstates by safely dialing #77 on their cell phone and providing the nearest State Police barrack a description of the vehicle, location and direction of travel.
If you are attending a Labor 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 Labor 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.