Western Maryland distracted driver campaign resulted in law enforcement agencies issuing more than 2,000 citations in April, according to a press release from Maryland State Police.

With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Frederick barrack of Maryland State Police worked with the Maryland Highway Safety Office and several law enforcement agencies in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett County in April to launch a campaign to curb distracted driving as well as enforce seat belt laws.

Distracted driving can involve any activity that takes attention from driving, such as eating and drinking, talking to passengers or adjusting the radio.

The agencies issued a combined total of 2,061 citations for cellular phone use while driving and 1,010 warnings. The agencies also produced 609 citations and 590 warnings. Seat belt fines and fines for using a cell phone while driving are $83, and there are no points associated with either charge.

According to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, distracted driving contributes to 58 percent of crashes in the state. Distracted drivers in Maryland cause more than 27,000 injuries and 185 deaths each year. Maryland State Police has cited studies that suggest traffic fatalities from distracted driving have surpassed fatalities resulting from drunk driving.

The Maryland Highway Safety Office reports that 90 percent of Marylanders wear their seat belts. But, the 10 percent of motorists who do not wear seat belts make up 42 percent of the motorists who die in traffic collisions in Maryland, according to a 2017 study.

With April marking the fifth year Maryland State Police has participated in the distracted driving campaign, the number of citations and warnings issued dropped significantly.

In 2018, Maryland State Police issued more than 2,900 citations and nearly 2,600 warnings for distracted violations, according to previous reports in the Frederick News-Post. The agency issued 16,050 citations and 18,671 warnings in all of 2018.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

Allen Etzler is a city editor at the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at aetzler@newspost.com.

(20) comments

DickD

It sure hasn't made any difference in tailgating, 80% of drivers tailgate, no tickets being given out for that.

Jeepers11md

I agree too many ignorant drivers on the road but it will continue until maryland law makers wake up and make the law be enforced for the Maryland stats police nor Frederick county sheriff's department are doing enough to enforce it

gdunn

too busy running one of the 350 daily calls in the county between very few troopers and deputies. Traffic enforcement goes on the back burner when you don't have the manpower to keep up with calls.

KellyAlzan

Im not sure I agree entirely with this.

gdunn

and it's even worse in the city.

Lev928

As gdunn stated (as a FACT) ... Frederick County doesn't have enough deputies nor state troopers to meet the current -- and escalating -- calls for 911 service, much less detailed enforcement efforts. You can disagree all you want, KellyAlzan, but the FACT remains that Frederick County is far understaffed for its law enforcement expectations. I don't deny your calls for it to be done ... I'm simply pointing out that it CAN'T be done with current staffing levels vs. the ongoing over-development in Frederick County and the traffic it brings with it.

KellyAlzan

Lev - I didn't state why I don't agree entirely. You don't know what I'm thinkin. But thanks for the lecture. With friends in local L/E, I'm pretty abreast on some stuff :) Hope your mothers day was good!

KellyAlzan

Lev, and I also didn’t say whether i feel Dunn is correct and I didnt state whether I feel Dunn is incorrect :)

Words matter!

Jeepers11md

yeah I agree and our so called Governor could do more to help such as let them place speed cameras to control the idiots on our highways, that would benefit Maryland greatly in hefty fines and also save the police to babysit our highway but them again I see it a lot when officers of the law abuse their rights too and pass me with no lights on just to get home

pappyjoe

DickD agree with ya on that statistic. I love when getting behind a driver that after making judgement has right foot on gas and left tapping the brake like Keith Moon on the drums. Concluding Intexticated they are Dick and after getting comfortable with their behavior guess what? moron breaks hard to keep from hitting rear of car/truck in front of them and swerves to the shoulder stopping, no less leaving you to rear end that car/truck. I carry 3/4 inch bolts, old door knobs and eggs with me. Get on my bumper if you like but, I start throwing the payload out the window. Over last 40 years Dick I`ve got a great track record in making contact or bulls-eyeing car/truck behind me[beam]

Jeepers11md

I don't believe that they are not doing their job i see it every day people on their hand held phones driving with no lights on when their wipers are on and when did route 15 become a race track and open speed limit? Posted speed says 55mph i just asked before with no answer what is the legal speed limit ? There is too much confusion on route 15 in regards to the speed limit people doing whatever they want just to get one car ahead, i feel sorry for our great truckers that most obey the laws for their license depend on it but yet Maryland State Police and Frederick county sheriff's department lets people do whatever speed they choose all i want to know what is the legal speed limit on route 15 ? I report ignorant company drivers but can report them if there is no limit

gabrielshorn2013

I’ve learned to keep up with the prevailing speed of 65-70 mph. If not, some drivers will tailgate and climb into your backseat, even in the right lane.

User1

Speed cameras only benefit the contractor that installs and runs the system. They’re essential in school zones. A lot of Fredneck county sheriff deputies are more concerned with cars not stopping EXACTLY at a stop sign. Have seen multiple times people either blasting down Route 40 with no headlights in the rain or making improper lane changes due to being on the phone.....and passing a deputy primed on the side of the road.

Whatsup

The numbers are still too high.

KellyAlzan

The distracted driving campaign was a flop. After the first day, it was like the campaign as no longer happening.

Seriously0305

Do you ever have anything positive to say?

KellyAlzan

Of course. Did you see any enforcement sites occurring other than the first day?

Eddie2

alzan. your lass is always 1/2 empty, yes, ?

mr_twist27

Just because you didn't see them doesn't mean they didn't happen.

KellyAlzan

I believe an aggressive driving campaign is desperately needed, for reasons as others mentioned above. The speeding, the tailgating, the unsafe passing, is all out of hand

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