We’d say that the only people out there who see the depressing results of distracted driving more than we do are the members of Maryland law enforcement. Like us, troopers and patrol officers are plenty fed up with large and small collisions alike which have resulted from drivers taking their attention away from the roadway.
This is why we welcomed the news this month that Maryland State Police began disguising themselves in order to catch distracted drivers in Gaithersburg. This week, police stopped dozens of distracted drivers during an operation along an on-ramp to I-270 in that part of the state.
A man with a plastic bucket stood by a road sign holding a plastic bucket. That man is a trooper. Sure enough, in the bucket, he had a police radio. Every time he saw a distracted driver, he alerted other troopers waiting further down the road.
According to a report, “Anything from talking on the cellphones, texting, scrolling through the cellphones. I saw three drivers that actually had books on their steering wheel area, and they were reading a book as they were driving.”
In just two hours, state troopers stopped more than 120 cars.
About 30,000 crashes occurred in Maryland last year because drivers were distracted, police said. Every second with your eyes off the road counts. If you look at your cellphone for five seconds going 55 mph, you travel the distance of a football field. This is why this sort of enforcement is so important. Serious injuries and unnecessary fatalities result from this behavior and it is happening every day.
We ask all of you out there to please refrain from texts, calls, tweets and the like while behind the wheel. remember also that you are modeling behavior for your kids. It is critical that they do not see this as they are our next generation behind the wheel.