The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and law enforcement officials across the Eastern Shore have a message for those taking a beach trip this month with family and friends: Make the trip memorable for the right reasons, and prevent tragedy by buckling up, avoiding distractions and aggressive driving, and never driving impaired.
In Maryland, between 2014 and 2018, more than 800 people died and 16,000 were injured in crashes involving alcohol or drugs. About one-third of the state’s roadway deaths each year involve impaired driving. At the annual Bay to Beach safety event, MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer joined Maryland State Police and other law enforcement agencies in urging motorists to always plan a safe and sober ride home.
“We want Maryland drivers to make a commitment to safe driving habits, every time they get behind the wheel,” said Administrator Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Deaths and serious injuries are preventable. Drivers who refuse to buckle up or drive impaired or distracted are setting themselves up for fines, jail time or, more importantly, injury to themselves or others.”
The Bay to Beach enforcement from the Bay Bridge to Ocean City along the US 50 corridor began August 1 and continues through Labor Day. Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) Police are working with sheriff’s offices in Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Wicomico and Worcester counties to encourage and enforce safe driving behaviors. Police departments in Easton, Cambridge, Salisbury, Berlin and Ocean City are also participating in the high visibility enforcement campaign.
“Ensuring the safety of those traveling to the beach, and across our state, is one of our highest priorities,” said Capt. Dan Pickett, executive officer of the Maryland State Police Field Operations Bureau. “Our message today is clear: If you get behind the wheel drunk or high, you will be arrested.”
Bay to Beach checkpoints will be conducted in Easton on Friday, August 16. Saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints are also being conducted statewide.
“This joint effort is a great example of our local communities and law enforcement coming together to make sure everyone is getting to and from their destination safely,” said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.
Delaware Office of Highway Safety officials attended Tuesday’s event, held at Hemingway’s Restaurant in Stevensville, to support the cross-jurisdictional campaign. Eastern Shore agencies work with border states to ensure safe travel between beach towns. Delaware State Police, as well as police departments in Bethany Beach, Dagsboro, Fenwick Island, Lewes, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Selbyville and South Bethany Beach, will participate in enforcement efforts during this month’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Learn about the Maryland Highway Safety Office Toward Zero Deaths campaign at towardzerodeathsmd.com, or visit Facebook at TowardZeroDeathsMD, Twitter at @tzd_maryland or Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.