Maryland State Police are gearing up for Halloween and will have additional troopers on patrol who will be using a variety of initiatives and are urging both motorist and pedestrians to use common sense, take responsibility and be more courteous on Maryland’s roadways.
Beginning on Thursday, October 31, 2019, troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks statewide will be focusing enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies, especially during holiday seasons. Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.
The Frederick, Hagerstown, Cumberland, and McHenry barracks are deploying extra troopers along I-70, I-68, I-81 and MD Route 65. Troopers will be conducting DUI saturation patrol and seat belt initiatives in their counties. Increased patrols will begin on Halloween through the weekend.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team, otherwise known as the SPIDRE team, will also be out this week. They will be deployed in Baltimore County, working in conjunction with the Baltimore County Police Department’s DUI team to focus on DUI saturation patrols. The goal of the SPIDRE team is to focus on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
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.
Those using alcohol during upcoming celebrations are urged to make plans for a sober driver to take them home before they begin drinking. Multiple transportation options are available for those who will be drinking that keep them from behind the wheel.
It is estimated to cost someone arrested for impaired driving about $10,000 for legal fees, fines, lost wages and multiple other reasons. That cost is just for a simple arrest. If a crash is involved, the cost goes up exponentially, since a price cannot be placed on a life lost.
Here are some tips for both motorists and pedestrians to help reduce the chances of fatalities on Maryland roads:
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Look for pedestrians walking along the roadway and at crossings and intersections.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks as required by Maryland law.
- Be careful passing stopped vehicles. If a car is stopped at a marked crosswalk, stop and look for crossing pedestrians as required by Maryland law.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
- Yield to pedestrians when turning.
- Use extra caution at night when it may be harder to see pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, always walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and at intersections. Many pedestrian crashes occur at midblock locations where drivers do not expect pedestrians.
- Obey traffic signals, including pedestrian signals.
- Before crossing, look left, right and left again to make sure you can cross safely.
- Look before stepping past stopped vehicles. They may be blocking your view of moving traffic.
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather. Help drivers see you by wearing retro-reflective material in low lighting conditions. This includes those wearing costumes while trick-or-treating.
- Use caution around any vehicle backing out of parking spaces and driveways.