From the Maryland State Police, Bel Air Barrack:
(BEL AIR, MD) – After investigating 11 fatal traffic crashes resulting in the deaths of 16 people so far this year, Maryland state troopers at the Bel Air Barrack are reminding motorists that increased distractions during the holiday season increase the danger caused by drivers who text or make cell phone calls while behind the wheel.
Troopers at the Bel Air Barrack are increasing their education and enforcement efforts in an attempt to remind drivers not to let the rush of the holidays interfere with the need to always make traffic safety a priority. The need to stay in touch is nowhere near as important as the need to stay focused and alert when driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a nontexting driver. Also, use of a cell phone while driving, regardless of whether it is handheld or hands-free, can delay some drivers’ reactions as much as someone who has a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit for intoxication in Maryland.
“Reading a text message while driving causes drivers to take their eyes off the road an average of five seconds,” Lt. Michael Wann, Commander of the Bel Air Barrack said. “That is enough time to drive the length of a football field and can obviously have devastating consequences for a driver traveling at any speed.”
Troopers know driving while talking on a handheld cell phone or texting is a serious risk to the health and safety of all those on the highway. That is why Lt. Wann has directed all troopers at the Bel Air Barrack to increase their focus on these traffic violations during the coming weeks. In addition to the regular complement of troopers working patrol, special enforcement patrols will also be out, focusing on these and other violations, including drunk
driving, speeding, and aggressive driving. Experience has shown troopers that the potential causes of traffic fatalities increase significantly during this time of the year and they are committed to doing all they can to save lives and reduce injuries on Harford County roads.
For additional information about efforts to end distracted driving, please visit www.StopTextsStopWrecks.org; or contact Lieutenant Michael Wann, Commander, Bel Air Barrack at (410) 879-2101.