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Keyword: distracted

Today, July 25, Baltimore County Police, Maryland State Police and Baltimore City Police will be actively patrolling Interstate 83 (I-83) for distracted drivers.

In 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the following numbers are the result of distracted driving:

  • Nine percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-related crashes.
  • Six percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crashes.
  • Eight percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old, were involved in fatal crashes as a result of distracted driving.

Sadly, this last group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.

What is considered distracted driving? Here is a brief look:

  • Food and drink. Reaching for that drink in the cup holder, or holding a sandwich while maneuvering the roadway is dangerous.
  • Music. Reaching for a CD, finding the right station, or looking at your dashboard can lead to a crash.
  • Smoking. Lighting up takes a second for your eyes to leave the road.
  • Most important and most egregious of all distractions, the cellphone. Don’t text, don’t try to keep up with social media and don’t tweet.

We will be out looking for distracted drivers. Play it safe and watch the road.

We live in a fast paced world and are easily distracted. Cellphones are the biggest distractions. Look around when walking and driving. Where people gather, cellphones are present. We laugh at videos of people bumping into poles while texting. However, it isn’t funny when someone is hit by a car or truck.

We talk about drunk driving, but drunk walking also kills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every three (34percent) fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08. That is high enough to put a driver in jail. Call a cab or ride sharing service.

How many times did you hear someone tell you to look both ways before you cross the street? Probably more times than you can remember. It is true no matter how old you are.

Crosswalks are there for your safety. Please use them wherever you see them. By law, drivers must stop when you step down. However, if the crosswalk is at a traffic signal, walk when the light is green and do not walk when the light is red.

Jaywalking, to walk or cross the street without regard for approaching traffic, is against the law. More importantly, it is dangerous. It is even more dangerous to jaywalk at night. Seventy-five percent of pedestrian deaths happen at night. Seventy-two percent are not crossing at crosswalks or intersections.

Cars today are fast and people behind the wheel like to drive fast.

If a pedestrian is hit at 20 mph, they have a 10 percent chance of dying. However, if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle at 40 mph, they have an 80 percent chance of dying. The numbers get worse as the speed increases.

Here’s how to stay safe and alive as a pedestrian: Pay attention to your surroundings, stay sober, use the crosswalks.

The Baltimore County Police Department reminds those hitting the road this Labor Day weekend that drinking while driving and distracted driving are dangerous and against the law.

Baltimore County police officers will be assigned to “saturation” details throughout the county from Friday, September 2 through Monday, September 5. A saturation detail consists of officers who patrol areas that throughout the year had a high concentration of DWI (Driving While Impaired), and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenses.

Anyone driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher is considered legally drunk and will be arrested.

Drivers with a BAC level lower than .08 may be incapable of driving and are subject to arrest. Driving while “buzzed” is dangerous because the driver’s reaction time is impaired. Driving “buzzed” is considered a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense. DUIs are punishable by a fine or possible arrest.

Officers will be on the lookout for aggressive driving, speeding, failure to use a seatbelt and texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving. Drivers can be ticketed and fined for failure to obey the law.

Think before you get behind the wheel. Texting and drunk driving can have deadly consequences.

If you know you will be drinking alcohol, arrange for a designated driver. You’ll save your life and the lives of others.

Revised June 27, 2017