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Maryland Sees 8.5 Percent Decrease in Roadway Fatalities in 2018

April 17th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Last year 511 people lost their lives in vehicle crashes across Maryland, according to data released today at the annual Maryland Highway Safety Summit. Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Deputy Secretary Jim Ports, MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer and Maryland Transportation Authority Police Chief Col. Jerry Jones gathered with law enforcement officials, safety advocates and transportation agencies to unveil the 2018 statistics.

The figures reflect an 8.5 percent reduction in the number of crash fatalities compared to 2017, when 558 people were killed. The 2018 figures were also lower than the 2016 number of 522 traffic deaths.

“While this decrease in fatalities is a step in the right direction, 511 people were taken from their families, friends and communities,” said MDOT Deputy Secretary Ports. “Every death on our roadways is preventable. Safety partners from across the state are here today to look at trends and outline the next steps to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the loss of life on our roads.”

The Maryland Highway Safety Summit is an annual meeting of stakeholders, policy makers, advocates and agency leaders. Among state transportation officials in attendance were MDOT State Highway Administration Administrator Greg Slater, MDOT Maryland Transit Administration Administrator Kevin Quinn and Maryland Highway Safety Office Director Dr. Tim Kerns.

The group comes together to develop steps and actions for Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), a five-year program with the goal of cutting the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries in half by 2030. The plan provides a framework to address major areas of traffic safety: aggressive, impaired and distracted driving, highway infrastructure, seat belt use, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The four Es – education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services – are the foundation of these lifesaving efforts.

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