With traffic expected to surge this Memorial Day weekend, additional Maryland state troopers will be on patrol and using a variety of initiatives to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.
Beginning Friday, 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.
Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
This also represents the start of the department’s summer enforcement efforts, which will remain intense throughout the summer. This initiative highlights how focused the Maryland State Police have been in 2021 targeting impaired drivers. So far this year, troopers have arrested approximately 2,700 impaired drivers. That is 700 more than at this time last year.
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. MDOT SHA provides significant help arranging detours at crash sites and conducting courtesy patrols to assist motorists.
According to AAA, an estimated 806,000 Marylanders are planning a getaway for Memorial Day weekend. This represents a 63 percent increase from a year ago when much of the country and world was under travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those planning to travel in Maryland, 746,900 are forecast to travel by vehicle this holiday weekend, a 53 percent increase from a year ago.
“We will have extra state troopers patrolling Maryland highways from the mountains to the beaches this holiday weekend and at peak times throughout the summer,” Maryland State Police Lt. Colonel Roland Butler, Chief of the Field Operations Bureau. “Our troopers will also be assisting disabled motorists and working hard to manage and clear traffic incidents as quickly as possible to keep traffic flowing.
“And as always, our world-renowned Aviation Command pilots and flight paramedics will be ready to respond to care for anyone who is injured and needs trauma care. Our helicopter crews will also be monitoring the traffic flow and notifying troopers on patrol of situations that need their attention. The Maryland State Police and our other state law enforcement agencies are ready for this weekend and the upcoming summer season. We want everyone traveling in Maryland to have a safe summer.”
With so many motorists expected to be on the road, drivers can check travel conditions and delays before traveling. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration provides up-to-date traffic and road conditions at roads.maryland.gov, or chart.state.md.us. Traffic conditions are also available at md511.org, or by safely dialing 511 on your cell phone.
Every year more than 160 lives are lost and thousands more are injured in Maryland in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Please don’t drink and drive this Memorial Day Weekend.
If you are attending a Memorial Day gathering:
- Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
- If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
- Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
- Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
- If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
- Always buckle up.
- Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a Memorial Day gathering:
- Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
- Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
- Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
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