But state transportation officials want to see that number decline further.
Linthicum, Md (KM) There’s good news when it comes to traffic deaths in Maryland. State transportation officials say there were 511 highway deaths in 2018, which is a 8.5% drop compared to 2017, when there were 558 deaths.
That statistic was announced by Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Ports, Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer, and Maryland Transportation Police Chief Jerry Jones, who gathered at Linthicum on Wednesday
Nizer says the decline in traffic deaths last year is good news. “But we also know that 511 people not coming home to their families is 511 too many,”: she says. “It really was also a re dedication to driving that number down to zero.”
The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan has a five-year program to cut traffic deaths by half by 2030, according to state transportation officials.”We look at the major areas in terms of aggressive, impaired and distracted, highway infrastructure, seatbelt use, bicycle safety,” says Nizer.
She says motorists can help bring down highway injuries and fatalities by using their seatbelts; slowing down and adapting their behavior to arrive alive; avoiding distractions, which means parking the cell phone; and driving sober. Also, be in the look out for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
Last year, according to state transportation officials, there were 133 pedestrians who were killed compared to 117 in 2017. Nizer says pedestrians need to be careful when crossing the street, and especially if their vehicles break down on a superhighway. “We have seen quite a few crashes, and unfortunately fatalities, with people getting out of the vehicle because of a service issue or a crash that happened,” says Nizer. “Make sure it’s not just the traditional pedestrian situation where you’re crossing an intersection. It’s also on our roadways.”
The statistics also say there six bicyclists killed in Maryland in 2018, a drop from 11 the year before.
By Kevin McManus