They’re also strictly enforcing seatbelt laws.
Hagerstown, Md (KM) Some stepped up enforcement is taking place in western Maryland against distracted driving. “What the Maryland State Police, in coordination with the Maryland Highway Safety Office, is focused on a national campaign in April to make people aware of the dangers of distracted driving. And that’s the focus of the national campaign is distracted driving,” says Captain Eric Corbin, the Commander of the Western Troop of he Maryland State Police.
He says the effort uses education and enforcement to get people to put down their cell phones while they’re driving, and pay strict attention to the road ahead. “People have to remember their vehicles, thousands of pounds, moving even at slow speeds, even at 30-miles an hour: if you take your eyes off the road to look at the text message, to look at the phone call, to look at Facebook, the next thing you know, you’re smashing into the car in front of you, or, even worse, striking a pedestrian,” says Captain Corbin.
The Maryland State Police say approximately 27,000 people are injured or killed each year in the United States due to crashes involving a distracted driver.
In addition to distracted driving, police will also be enforcing the laws regarding seatbelt usage. Authorities say seatbelts can reduce the risk of a fatal collision by 45%, and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50% during a vehicle crash.
“The whole point, the whole mission of all these efforts is to reduce serious injuries and fatalities and to keep everyone safer on the roads,” says Captain Corbin. “So what we’re really asking people to do is put the phones down, put your seatbelt on and focus on your driving. It might save your life. It might save someone else’s life.”
He also says the State Police isn’t the only law enforcement agency involved in this effort. “You’re going to see Maryland State Police, Frederick Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hagerstown Police Department. There’s a number of allied agencies that are participating,” Corbin says. “You’re going see an extra law enforcement presence enforcing these laws.”
By Kevin McManus