GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WDVM) — According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes on Maryland roadways claimed 530 lives in 2019, an increase of 3.7% compared to 512 deaths the previous year. Pedestrian fatalities declined 7.5%, with 123 last year compared to 133 in 2018.
The number of deaths on Maryland roadways has fluctuated in recent years. There were 558 fatalities in 2017, including 119 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists. In 2016, 522 people died in state roadway crashes, including 111 pedestrians and 16 bicyclists.
Across Maryland is down about 45% as drivers heed Governor Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order limiting non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 health emergency. Truck traffic is down less, about 22%, as truckers continue working to keep Maryland’s supply chain open and deliver critical items to stores, pharmacies and hospitals.
Highway safety officials say despite the overall decrease in traffic volume, dangerous driving behaviors have not taken a back seat. According to state law enforcement agencies, 69% of speeding citations issued from March 16 to April 17 cited drivers exceeding posted speed limits by 20 mph or higher. More than 375 citations noted speeds of 90 mph or more.
Additionally, while vehicle traffic has decreased during the COVID-19 emergency, pedestrian and bicycle traffic has increased. To keep Maryland’s most vulnerable road users safe, the MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office urges motorists to share the road and respect all traffic safety laws.
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