Police Officials Plead With
to Help Make Roads Safer
So far, 2003 has been a record-breaking
year on local roads. The record, however, is nothing to be proud of. Since
January, 14 of our neighbors have died on our roads. Most of those deaths
have occurred on Route 2/4, the county's primary and most traveled roadway.
In each of these tragic incidents, the main cause has been
driver error. Impaired driving, aggressive driving, high speeds, inattention
and inexperience have been to blame. Stop, and read that list again. Ask
yourself if at some other time it could have been you.
Certainly, the traffic on Route 4 has increased
significantly. That's to be expected when you live in the fastest growing
jurisdiction in the state. What we shouldn't expect--and should not accept--is the heartbreaking rise in the number of fatal accidents.
The Calvert County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State
Police are beefing up patrols to catch speeders and impaired drivers. Local
and state officials are studying crash locations to determine whether road
improvements are needed. The media has joined us in our Chief's Challenge
campaign to "Click It or Ticket." Calvert County speed trailer is showing up
in front of schools and in communities to remind drivers to watch their
speed. We're doing what we can to keep you safe on our roads. The rest is up
Calvert County drivers need to change their habits to
adjust for greater road congestion. Speed greatly increases the severity of
any accident, so please slow down. Buckle up, it's the law! Change lanes
only when the move can be made safely, and don't tailgate. Make sure child
safety seats are properly installed. If you're a motorcyclist, be sure to
wear a DOT certified helmet. Look both ways twice before crossing an
intersection, and be sure to make the last look in the direction of the
traffic coming toward you, and don't drive while impaired by drugs or
The next time you get into the driver's seat, take a moment
to remember how very fragile life is. And then, remember these names: Anne Whisman, 82; Thomas Bennet, Jr., 82: Paul Grisso, 79; Anna Griso, 71;
Bernice Buck, 60; Wesley Coates, 51; James Mackall, 48; Denny Jones, 46;
Michele Windsor, 42; William Clelland, 37; Sylvia Creek, 34; David Winfield,
19; Sheena Creek, 17; and Martin Herbert, Jr., 16.
Please help us make our roads safer. Calvert County has
seen an increase of 30 percent in traffic accidents, with an average of over
one thousand accidents reported in a three-year period ending in 2002.
Injuries occur in nearly half of all accidents.
The worst part of a law enforcement officer's job is
telling family members that a loved one won't be coming home. We've done
that enough times already this year.
Sheriff Mike Evans
Major Tom Hejl, Assistant Sheriff
Capt. Norman Dofflemeyer, Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack
Lt. Jerry Beason, Assistant Barrack Commander
Debbie Jennings, Traffic Safety Council Coordinator
Article in the Calvert Recorder Wednesday, July 16, 2003