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Keyword: drivers

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.

Walking should be a safe way to get from point A to point B. However, statistics say otherwise.

While pedestrian deaths nationally have dropped in the last two years, 5,987 people killed in 2016 to a slightly lower 5,977 deaths in 2017, Baltimore County, as of March, has seen three pedestrian involved fatalities in 2019 alone.

It should be noted that when someone is struck by a vehicle, death isn't always the end result. Many people are left with life changing complications. As of March, there were 121 pedestrian injuries due to pedestrian or driver error. The injuries ranged from three life threatening injuries, 23 possible life threatening injuries to 95 non-life threatening injuries. Needless to say life is not the same after getting struck by a car or truck.

How do we stop this? There are some things we can do to stay safe. For pedestrians:

  • Cross at crosswalks, intersections and traffic lights when possible. Use caution, however, as some drivers may not obey the law and stop for you.
  • Use your cellphone with care. Pay attention to where you’re going. You may not be struck by a vehicle, but you could trip and fall or bump into a pole.
  • Teach your child not to dart out into the road between parked cars. Tell them to look both ways before stepping off the curb. Remind them that drivers do not always see them entering the roadway.
  • Watch for turning vehicles to the left and right of you before entering the roadway.
  • Adults should set a good example by not jaywalking or cutting across a roadway in front of traffic.
  • When walking at night, wear bright clothing or something reflective.

Drivers are responsible for their actions as well.

  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. It isn't just the courteous thing to do, it’s the law!
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists when turning.
  • Look for bicyclists before opening your vehicle door. There are bike lanes adjacent to parked cars in some areas of the county and city. Striking a bicyclist could throw them into traffic leading to death or injury.
  • Obey the speed limit and leave room when passing a bicyclist.
  • Be aware when passing buses or stopped vehicles. A pedestrian might not see you coming and attempt to cross the street.

Be a smart pedestrian, driver and bicyclist. Obey the rules of the road and do your part to make safe travel choices.

Baltimore County Police and neighboring law enforcement agencies will participate in Operation T.I.D.E. (Targeting Impaired Drivers Everywhere) during Halloween weekend, October 30 and 31.

The two day enforcement program will concentrate on roads historically known for high numbers of DUI (driving while under the influence) and DWI (driving while impaired) offenses. Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) .08 or above are considered legally drunk -- Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Some motorists believe if they are pulled over and have a BAC .07 they aren't drunk, only "buzzed." They are mistaken. Drivers are considered Driving While Impaired by alcohol (DWI) if they have a BAC of .07.

In both circumstances, the driver can be fined, imprisoned, receive points against his/her driving record or lose his/her license.

Driving while drunk or drugged is dangerous and can be costly.

Distracted Driving

Officers will be on the lookout for aggressive drivers and drivers who exceed the speed limit. Drivers using electronic devices while driving will be pulled over and ticketed. During the traffic stop the officer will check the license and registration, and will look for outstanding warrants or other legal issues.

Operation T.I.D.E. will be active over the holidays in 2015 and 2016.

Don't drink and drive. It is unsafe and it is against the law.

Revised June 27, 2017