From the Maryland State Police, Bel Air Barrack:
(BEL AIR, MD) – As we approach the Memorial Day weekend Harford County law enforcement wants to remind citizens that law enforcement personnel will be implementing traffic safety initiatives throughout the entire weekend. Traffic Task Force partners will be supplemented by troopers from specialized units within the Department. In total, there will be a minimum of fifteen (15) law enforcement personnel in search of aggressive/distracted drivers; operators that elect to drive while drunk/drugged; motorists/passengers not restrained by safety belts and safety seat violations.
Harford County law enforcement continues to place heavy emphasis on improving traffic safety through partnerships and close analysis of crash data. We have learned that total comprehension of the cause of crashes is essential in maximizing resources and improving driving behavior.
So far, in 2012, there have been twelve (12) fatal motor vehicle crashes with fifteen (15) fatalities. Relevant statistical information involving these tragic events includes:
1. Six of the crashes were caused by failure of the operators to drive right of center
2. One crash was caused by failure of the operator to obey a traffic control device
3. One crash was caused by failure of the operator to obey a stop sign
4. Three crashes were caused by pedestrian error.
Additionally, two of the fatal crashes were possibly medically related and two of the crashes involved motorcycles. In one fatal crash there were three individuals killed and in another there were two fatalities.
We have learned other important facts by dissecting and analyzing data associated with 488 serious and less serious Harford County motor vehicle crashes investigated by the Maryland State Police.
1. 300 (61%) of the crashes were caused by male operators.
2. 187 (38%) of the crashes were caused by operators between the ages of 16 yoa and 26 yoa
3. 81 (17%) of the crashes were caused by operators failing to yield the right of way (this problem is increasing as operators take unnecessary risks during turning maneuvers on congested roadways).
4. 60 (12%) of the crashes were caused by operators failing to remain in their required lanes, e.g., failure to remain right of center.
5. 174 (36%) of the crashes occurred between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
6. 85 (17%) of the crashes occurred on Wednesday.
Also, by closely analyzing data we have documented the “High Crash” areas which are primarily concentrated on the State and U.S. Routes between Bel Air, Joppa, Edgewood, and Aberdeen.
Rest assured that the Maryland State Police and our partners (Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Havre De Grace Police Department) will continue to strive to reduce motor vehicle crashes and seek innovative methods to improve our enforcement strategies. Operation results, to include the identification of arrestees, will be posted next week.