Department of Transportation Launches Comprehensive Safety Campaign Aimed at Reducing Accidents on City Streets

Educational and enforcement campaign will raise awareness about dangerous driving habits

BALTIMORE, MD (April 18, 2018) — Today, Mayor Catherine Pugh was joined by Department of Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau and representatives from Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, Maryland AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council to announce the launch of a new Traffic Safety Campaign in Baltimore City.

“Safety is my number one priority in the City of Baltimore and it is our responsibility to ensure that citizens can travel safely and efficiently in this city,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh.  “Through this new educational and enforcement campaign, we are working to reduce accidents and help save lives.”

This comprehensive safety campaign is being launched in order to reduce vehicular accidents and make the streets of Baltimore safer.  Each year, nearly 20,000 crashes occur on city streets, many of which are a result of distracted driving.  Accidents can be prevented, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation has joined with State and private partners to raise public awareness about dangerous driving habits.  Maryland’s traffic safety community has a vision to move the state “Toward Zero Deaths” and the City of Baltimore has aligned with its project partners for a zero fatality state.

“Through this comprehensive safety initiative, we encourage everyone to share the road, be more aware of dangerous driving habits and always put safety first,” said Michelle Pourciau, Baltimore City Department of Transportation Director. “Spring is one of the most dangerous seasons on our roadways, when the highest number of vehicular crashes occur, and we are committed to working ‘Toward Zero’ injuries and fatalities on city streets.”

As part of the city’s comprehensive safety campaign, the Department of Transportation will be conducting a variety of safety initiatives that aim to increase awareness about dangerous driving behaviors and the safe usage of city roadways.  These initiatives include:

  • Safety City Day – The 2nd annual Safety City Day will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9am to 3pm at Safety City in Druid Hill Park.  Children of all ages and their parents are invited to attend this free event, which teaches students about safe walking and biking practices.
  • “Don’t Block the Box” – Starting on May 1st, the Department of Transportation will begin issuing warnings to motorists who “block the box” at various intersections in the city.  Blocking an intersection causes traffic congestion and delays by preventing other vehicles from passing through, and also creates dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.  Warnings will be issued for a 30 day period and then motorists who “block the box” will receive $90 fines and 1 point on their license.
  • “Don’t Be That Person” – This safety education campaign is aimed at teaching citizens about dangerous driving habits that lead to serious injuries and/or fatalities on city streets.  Safety messages will be posted throughout the city and will address issues such as pedestrian and bicycle safety, speeding, red light running, seatbelt usage and distracted driving.
  • Automated Enforcement – Speed, red light and truck automated enforcement cameras will continue to be placed in school zones and at high crash intersections, as they are proven mechanisms for deterring dangerous driving habits.

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